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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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January 22, 1997

Lusa - January 22, 1997

Rome – East Timorese activist Josi Ramos Horta has said that the president of the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Etchegeray, was "deeply concerned" with the lack of school and professional education for the East Timorese youth. Ramos Horta made his comments on Tuesday after a 30-minute meeting with Etchegeray.

Lusa - January 22, 1997

Rome – The East Timor issue is "an heritage from the Cold War era" that could be solved in the current new political environment, East Timorese activist Josi Ramos Horta has said.

January 21, 1997

Asia Times - January 21, 1997

Ong Hock Chuan, Jakarta – Family connections figure prominently in the list of parliamentary candidates for Indonesia's 1997 general elections released on Monday.

Among the 2,293 candidates nominated by the country's three official political parties to stand in the May 29 elections are seven of President Suharto's relatives, including four of his children.

Lusa - January 21, 1997

Rome – East Timor's resistance movement Conselho Nacional da Resistjncia Maubere (CNRM) has announced that it will apply for observer status at the Socialist International (SI) during this weeks IS Congress in Rome.

Lusa - January 21, 1997

Lisbon – The apostolic administrator of East Timor's diocese of Baucau Bishop D. Basmlio do Nascimento has stressed that popular revolt against the Indonesian troops can easily arise in the former Portuguese colony.

January 20, 1997

Lusa - January 20, 1997

Sydney – The Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Hilton Deakin, has said that an Indonesian soldier was killed on Christmas Eve after he was found to have been paid to assassinate 1996 Nobel Peace Prize East Timorese Bishop D. Ximenes Belo.

Associated Press - January 20, 1997

Jakarta – Officials blocked Indonesia's pro-democracy leader today from running for reelection to parliament in May.

The list of 2,293 candidates approved by election officials includes four of President Suharto's children, his half-brother, a daughter-in-law and a cousin.

Jakarta Post - January 20, 1997

Jakarta – The Independent Election Monitoring Committee (KIPP), which shot to prominence shortly after its birth last year and has since been long silent, says it has found violations in some of the preparatory stages of the May general election.

Lusa - January 20, 1997

Lisbon – East Timorese resistance leader Mari Alkatiri has said to be "surprised" with Josi Ramos Horta's announcement last week of a plan to form a "shadow government" for the territory occupied by Indonesia.

Lusa - January 20, 1997

Lisbon – The Indonesian group that has bought Italian car maker Lamborghini was said to be a partner in the construction of a cement factory in East Timor.

January 17, 1997

Asia Times - January 17, 1997

Ong Hock Chuan – When a group of students commandeered a 50-seat public bus to attack a rival gang last week, it was in many ways business as usual in Jakarta.

Student brawls happen all over Asia, but in the Indonesian capital they increasingly end as newspaper obit-uaries.

January 16, 1997

Southeast Asia On-line News - January 16, 1997

S. N. Vasuki - Though Indonesia's parliamentary elections are five months away, major political groupings have already launched an aggressive unofficial campaign. Predictably, the country's political temperature has risen in recent weeks as parties battle for the hearts and minds of the electorate.

January 15, 1997

South China Morning Post - January 15, 1997

Agence France-Presse in Jakarta - The main Muslim political party has threatened to withdraw from this year's general election, saying campaign rules unfairly favour President Suharto's ruling Golkar party.

January 11, 1997

International Herald Tribune - January 11, 1997

Michael Richardson, Manado – In a country where official statistics show Muslims forming 85 percent of the 200 million population, a striking feature of the buildings lining both sides of the road on the one-hour drive between Manado and Bitung, the two main towns of North Sulawesi Province, is the prevalence of churches and chapels.

January 4, 1997

International Herald Tribune - January 4, 1997

Michael Richardson, Jakarta – Strong economic growth forecast for Indonesia in 1997 along with a projected increase in exports and lower inflation are likely to push stocks significantly higher this year, market analysts say, despite lingering investor concerns about possible instability when President Suharto, the country's aging ruler, leaves the scene.

January 3, 1997

The Irish Times - January 3, 1997

David Shanks, Dublin – The East Timorese resistance to illegal Indonesian rule has called for an indefinite unilateral ceasefire in the former Protuguese colony.This reflects diplomatic suggestions from Western leaders to the resistence to lessen tensions with a so far intransigent Indonesia and to offer an "olive branch."

January 1, 1997

Indonesian South African Friendship Society Newsletter Issue 02 - January 1997

We the members of the East Timor House of Representatives, on behalf of our constituents of the people of East Timor, wish to express our grave dissappointment that your prestigious Nobel Peace Prize has been used to reopen wounds that we have been trying to heal since our integration with Indonesia brought an end to a bloody civil war a beginning to a process of development never w

Jakarta Post - January 1997

The government announced yesterday it is to increase the minimum wage level in all 27 provinces by an average of 10.07 percent from April 1.

Minister of Manpower Abdul Latief said the increase would bring the average minimum wage across the country closer to what is officially perceived as the minimum physical requirement.

Indonesian Media - January 1997

On 27 January, student demonstrators held a free speech forum, a street march and rallied at the local parliament (DPRD) over remarks made by ex-general Sodomo, chair of the Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR) over last years rioting in Tasikmalaya, West Java, who said as saying that Islamic extremists were behind the incident.

Indonesian Media - January 1997

Nine students were arrested last week after 50 students commandeered a public bus to attack a rival gang. Police confiscated sickles, a sword, a knife, two sharp steel rulers, two belts with cogwheels attached to them and steel bars.

Commissonfor the Rights of the Maubere People, (CDPM) - January & February 1997

Rather than produce an exhaustive list of the multiplicity of events occurred last year or try to place them in rigorous order of importance, the aim of this text is to identify the trajectories and underlying tendencies of the East Timor question during the period in question. It is, therefore, a fairly summary account of how the problem evolved during 1996.

Indonesian South African Friendship Society Newsletter - January 1997

We the members of the East Timor House of Representatives, on behalf of our constituents of the people of East Timor, wish to express our grave disappointment that your prestigious Nobel Peace Prize has been used to reopen wounds that we have been trying to heal since our integration with Indonesia brought an end to a bloody civil war and a beginning to a process of development neve

Amnesty International - January 1997

Amnesty International (UK) is calling on the UK Goverment to urgently revoke export licences granted to a UK company, Alvis, for the sale of armoured vehicles to Indonesia. This call comes in the light of mounting evidence about the use of such equipment in commiting grave human rights cviolations in that country.

News from PIJAR - January 1997

Jakarta – The head of Nadhlatul Ulama [NU, Association of Muslim Scholars)] Abdurrahman Wahid openly and during the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika Dialogue Forum in Jakarta, Tuesday night, said that the Humanika Foundation was involved in the riots in Tasikmalaya some while ago.

Timor Leste Monthly Bulletin - January 1, 1997

[The Monthly Bulletin is published by the Commission for the Rights of the Maubere People (CDPM).]

December 15, 1996

Observer - December 15, 1996

Charlotte Clayton – Jose Ramos-Horta is the Fretilin activist and self styled Foreign Minister of a nonexisting Republic.

On December 11, 1996 Jose was awarded The Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. A prize that puts him in the same league as Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Schweitzer, Willy Brandt, Albert Lutuli and Martin Luther King.

November 6, 1996

Australian Financial Review - November 6, 1996

Greg Earl, Jakarta – Indonesia is facing a major credibility challenge to its economic assistance package with President Soeharto's son yesterday launching a legal challenge to the closure of his bank.

November 1, 1996

Down To Earth 31 - November 1996

The folly of pushing ahead with a huge rice conversion project in Central Kalimantan without any environmental impact assessment, is becoming evident. Problems are arising in all aspects of the million hectare project, which was announced by Presidential decree last year and launched in February 1996.

October 15, 1996

International Examiner - October 15, 1996

Once, Indonesia's President Suharto was considered a demigod by his people; a leader whose power over his country of more than 17,000 islands extended into a near-magical realm.

But even magic, these days, cannot slow he forces of change when they are set of by the frustrations of close to 200 million people.

October 11, 1996

National Catholic Reporter - October 11, 1996

Jakarta – After enduring 21 years of brutal occupation at the hands of the Indonesian military, the East Timorese people deserve the long-suppressed right to decide their future for themselves, said Florentino Sarmento, one of the most prominent and respected leaders of the East Timorese Catholic community.

September 18, 1996

Green Left Weekly - September 18, 1996

James Balowski – Despite the ongoing crackdown against PRD (People's Democratic Party) members and other pro-democracy activists, when John Howard meets with President Suharto this week, you can be sure that promoting Australian business interests will be his primary concern. "Money" will certainly be high on the agenda this week – "blood" will not.

August 29, 1996

Down To Earth - August 29, 1996

Hundreds of thousands of hectares of pristine tropical peat forests in Central Kalimantan are about to be destroyed for a huge rice development project which experts say cannot work.

Down To Earth - August 29, 1996

The rapid development of Indonesia's pulp and paper industry will put yet more pressure on the country's already severely depleted forests.

August 1, 1996

Down To Earth 29/30 - August 1996

In our last issue we described how Indonesia, and especially Kalimantan's gold belt has become a honeypot for Canadian companies. They are hoping to strike gold in a big way, like Bre-X Minerals Ltd, which has discovered a massive deposit now estimated to contain some 40 million ounces of gold.

Human Rights Watch and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights - August 1996


By George Aditjondro - August 1996

Garuda Indonesian Airline offices in Europe and Australia, are starting to become targets of protests against the Suharto regime, after the regime's brutal intervention in Megawati Sukarnoputri's Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI), which led to the bloody attack on PDI'sheadquarters, on Saturday, July 27, 1996. All pro-democracy activists in Indonesia do appreciate these campaigns.

February 28, 1996

Down To Earth - February 28 1996

The long-running dispute between the Bentian people of East Kalimantan and the logging company PT Kahold Utama remains unresolved. The dispute reached a new stage when indigenous villagers from Jelmu Sibak, in Kutai district, accompanied by NGO representatives travelled to Jakarta to meet members of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM).

February 19, 1996

Jawa Pos - February 19, 1996

Jakarta – The head of NU Abdurrahman Wahid said yesterday that he is not convinced that a number of Maduran's went to Kalimantan to "provoke the people". He added that the two kiai (Islamic teachers) have stated their concern of the victims and damage of the riots.

February 1, 1996

Down To Earth 28 - February 1996

In West Kalimantan too, indigenous people are struggling to defend their customary land against commercial interests.

September 19, 1995

Sydney Morning Herald - September 19, 1995

Max Lane – It's surprising that any observer of Indonesian society and politics could accept the official line that Indonesia's approach to the resolution of issues is "consensual".

March 22, 1995

The Guardian - March 22, 1995

By Noam Chomsky - January 1995

February 1, 1995

From Tapol Bulletin No 127 - February 1995

Rudy Habibie is arguably Indonesia's most influential citizen, after President Suharto, of course. Although officially he only holds the humble position of Minister of Research and Technology in the cabinet, he is far more powerful than that. As Suharto's foster-son, Habibie's power seemingly knows no bounds.

July 1, 1994

Links Magazine - July-September 1994

This article originally appeared in Links - International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Issue #2, July-September, 1994

By Max Lane