The UDT [Timorese Democratic Union] has reservations regarding [South African President] Nelson Mandela's diplomatic initiative on East Timor. The leader of UDT, one of the factions of the Timorese resistance, has said that caution is needed.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
July 28, 1997
Jakarta – Jakarta police are holding 85 people arrested in opposition protests Sunday marking the one year anniversary of riots in the capital. Jenny Grant in Jakarta reports police expect to charge five of those in custody with fomenting hatred against the government.
[The following is a slightly abridged translation of a press statement sent to ASIET (Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor) by the underground PRD]
July 27, 1997
[The following is a translation of a chronology sent to ASIET written on Sunday, July 27, 12 midnight and by the underground Peoples Democratic Party]
East Timor's Bishop Belo says he is declining an invitation to South Africa to meet President Nelson Mandela.
He says he has a lot of work to do in his dioscese and such a journey would be a waste of time.
Bishop Belo says that if President Mandela wants to talk about the politics of East Timor then he should talk to the Indonesian generals.
[The following are translations of a number of reports on the July 26 and 27 commemoration actions held in Jakarta and sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party (PRD). Please note that these reports were compiled, posted and translated within hours of the actions and an overall picture of what transpired remains unclear]
Jakarta – Riot police and soldiers blocked hundreds of demonstrators from holding a prayer service in front of the Indonesian Democracy Party headquarters, Sunday. from Jakarta, Jenny Grant reports the protesters were marking the first anniversary of violent riots in the capital.
[A version of this appears in the latest edition of the Darwin-based AustralAsian]
July 26, 1997
Jakarta – around 2,000 people gathered for a memorial service in Jakarta Saturday to mark one year since violent riots in the capital. Jenny Grant reports from the capital the event went ahead despite a police ban.
July 25, 1997
Jakarta – Indonesian police have banned weekend commemorations marking one year since riots in Jakarta left five people dead and more than 100 injured. Jenny Grant reports authorities are concerned the ceremonies may trigger new violence in the capital.
July 24, 1997
Jakarta – Hundreds of supporters of ousted opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri marched (Thursday) in Central Jakarta celebrating a minor court victory. Jenny Grant reports the march was part of a build up for weekend actions marking one year since riots in the capital.
The International Secretariat has been informed by a reliable source of the grave concern that exists for the physical and psychological integrity of Andreas Harsono who was involved with the establishment of an Independent Journalists Association in Indonesia (although he is not currently active).
July 23, 1997
[The following is a translation of a leaflet sent to ASIET by the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD). The original source of the leaflets and posters was not indicated.]
Johannesburg – South Africa's President Nelsom Mandela issued a statement through the President's Office confirming reports of his meeting with Fretilin (sic) leader, Xanana Gusmao, during his recent state visit to Indonesia.
July 22, 1997
Jim Della-Giacoma, Jakarta – Indonesia on Tuesday published an updated version of its 1995 white paper on defence, stressing the importance of regional links in maintaining security.
Officials said while releasing the 66-page document that the document was part of confidence-building measures suggested by the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
Indonesian authorities are reported to have released two journalists jailed for insulting the Government.
The Jakarta Post newspaper says Achmad Taufik and Eko Mariyadi were released on parole on Saturday after serving nearly two-thirds of their three-year sentences.
July 21, 1997
Jakarta – Indonesia on Monday said it had rejected overseas medical treatment for an ailing independent labour leader on trial for subversion.
Mucthar Pakpahan, head of the unrecognised Indonesian Labour Welfare Union (SBSI), has been in a private Jakarta hospital since March when his subversion trial was postponed indefinitely after he complained of suffering vertigo.
Andreas Harsono, Jakarta – In yet another attempt to suppress criticism of the long-running Suharto regime, an Indonesian court here sentenced a legislator who is a close aide to opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri to nine months in jail Monday for defaming the nation's six-term President.
July 20, 1997
The speech on Thursday, 17 July, by Robin Cook in which he again stressed that human rights would be at the heart of Britain's foreign policy under the Labour Government was widely reported and commented on in all the media - radio, TV and in the print media on Friday.
July 18, 1997
The government is expected to allow British Aerospace to complete the contentious sale of 16 Hawk fighter aircraft to Indonesia, following advice that there are "formidable obstacles" in the way of revoking the contract.
Jakarta – One East Timorese rebel resisting Indonesia's rule in the former Portuguese colony has been killed in an attack on the 21st anniversary of the territory's annexation, the official Antara news agency reported on Friday.
July 16, 1997
Patrick Walters, Jakarta – One of Indonesia's most experienced infantry officers with extensive combat experience in East Timor has been named socio-political chief of armed forces.
July 14, 1997
Concerns are held for Joaquim Moreira and up to 84 other East Timorese people who may still be in detention following their arrest in June 1997(see UA 17/97). The 85 detainees were arrested in Quelicai, Baucau district, between 5 and 16 June as part of an intensive military operation launched by members of Battalion 312 and Team Saka.
July 12, 1997
[The following is a translation of a statement sent to ASIET by the underground Peoples Democratic Party (PRD) and also includes a short report from the Surabaya Post]
July 11, 1997
Andreas Harsono, Jakarta – Rumors have started to circulate in Jakarta that President Suharto is hinting that Harmoko – like many Indonesians, he uses just ne name – the chairman of the Suharto's ruling party, Golkar, will not become the speaker of the Indonesian parliament when it convenes to elect a new president next year.
[The following is a translation of an interview between Mirah Mahardika. Coordinator, Central Leadership Committee, Peoples Democratic Party (KPP-PRD) and Pembebasan (Liberation)]
Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and representative of the East Timorese resistance, has welcomed the Foreign Secretary's commitment to use diplomatic pressure to bring about a peaceful settlement of the conflict in East Timor and to follow through on the Government's current review of arms exports to Indonesia.
July 10, 1997
The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) holds grave fears for the safety of five East Timorese men still in military custody following their arrest in Caibada near Baucau on 25 June, 1997 (see UA 16/97). The five men were arrested together with David Alex, second in command of the armed East Timorese Resistance (Falintil), by members of Kopassus (Special Forces Command).
[This is an updated and revised version of sections of a paper presented at the Oslo University public seminar on East Timor, Monday, December 9, 1996]
Jakarta – Indonesian authorities will bring 33 people to court over protests in the capital of East Timor during the visit of a United Nations envoy to the troubled territory in March, a report said here Thursday.
Moscow – Russia intends to help Indonesia in developing that country's nuclear power industry, in particular in the construction of nuclear power plants, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov told a news conference in Moscow Thursday.
According to an AFP report of 5 July, based on a report from Antara news agency of the same day, 'relatives of the slain East Timorese rebel David Alex are now satisfied that David Alex is dead and buried, after earlier questioning his death.
According to a report in Media Indonesia on 9 July, Harmoko, who was recently removed as Minister of Information is likely to be named as the next ambassador to London. Until now, it has been generally thought that Harmoko was being groomed to become the next head of Parliament and the MPR, the upper house.
July 9, 1997
Moscow – Indonesia is analysing the combat characteristics of Russian military equipment and is considering the possibility of acquiring some, [Indonesian] Minister of State Bacharuddin J. Habibie said at a news conference in Moscow today.
July 8, 1997
Moscow – Indonesia and Russia on Monday agreed to expand cooperation in the field of aviation technology and electrical power, visiting Research and Technology Minister BJ Habibie said.
July 4, 1997
It is believed that the fifth man arrested in Kaibada, near Baucau in East Timor on 25 June, is Cesario da Costa. The five included David Alex, second-in-command of the East Timorese National Liberation Army, Falintil, who later died in custody.
Dili – Indonesian securities forces have killed one East Timorese guerilla member and captured 14 others during an operation on Wednesday in Curusa, 145 km of the capital Dili, a military spokesman has said.
It is well known that since 27th July, the day on which the Suharto regime in a most violent manner crushed the peaceful movement in Indonesia which demanded a restoration of democratic rights in the country, hundreds of Indonesians have been persecuted and locked up behind bars.
Lisbon – UN and Indonesian officials are to set up an inquiry into the death of the deputy leader of East Timorese rebels fighting Indonesian troops in the former Portuguese colony, Nobel Peace prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta announced Friday.
July 3, 1997
Indonesian police are to charge a Roman Catholic priest over harbouring three pro-democracy activists following serious riots in Jakarta last year.
The newspaper, the Jakarta Post, said the charges would be brought against Father Ignatius Sandyawan Sumardi for harbouring leaders of the People's Democratic Party who were accused of instigating the riots in July last year.
Jakarta – The Indonesian military commander in troubled East Timor Thursday dismissed reports that rebel leader David Alex was still alive but said he would not block an independent investigation.
[This is an abridged translation of a chronology written by Coen Husein Pontoh, chair of the PRD affiliated National Peasants Union (STN), who along with Dita Indah Sari (Chairperson, Center for Labour Struggle, PPBI) and M Sholeh (Surabaya Branch of Students Solidarity for Indonesian Democracy, SMID) were interned together in the Madaeng prison in Surabaya, East Java.]
July 2, 1997
'Extra-budgetary' financing has always placed a question mark over the meaning of the Indonesian state budget. A new law might change all that. But only if it enjoys enough backing to overturn decades of departmental do-it-yourself financing.
July 1, 1997
The guerrilla leader David Alex who has died aged 50 after being captured by Indonesian forces, had fought in the mountains of East Timor since the Indonesian army landed in the former Portuguese colony in 1975. He was fourth in the resistance's military hierarchy and was feared by Indonesian officers for his daring raids. He had been hunted for many years.
Peter Montagnon, Hong Kong – Britain would lose its lucrative arms trade with Indonesia if the Labour Government insists on a broad link between human rights and equipment sales, Mr Ali Alatas, Indonesia's foreign minister, warned yesterday.
In a table headed, 'Kings, Queens and Dictators', Forbes lists the world's richest rulers, identifying the country, estimated worth, source of wealth and the year they came to power.
Derwin Pereira, Jakarta – Indonesia's intelligence chief has predicted that more violence could hit the country in the run-up to next year's presidential election, warning that the recent riots have yet to reach a climax.
June 30, 1997
Interview by Greg Sheridan – The Indonesian political system does not reflect the wishes of the people and this has led to much of the recent violence in the country, according to Marzuki Darusman, vice-chairman of the Indonesian Commission on Human Rights.
June 28, 1997
By Miranda Sissons, International Relations Program, Yale University. Summary of a forthcoming publication of the East Timor Human Rights Centre
June 27, 1997
[The following is a translation of a statement sent to Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET) by the underground Peoples Democratic Party (PRD)]