The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) holds grave fears for the safety of seven East Timorese men arrested between 29 and 30 May, 1997, in the sub-district of Atabae, Bobonaro. The arrests are believed to be part of the repercussions which have followed the wave of violence surrounding the the recent Indonesian election.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
June 6, 1997
ASIET has received information, still to be confirmed, that there are plans to move Budiman Sujatmiko, President of the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD), to Nusakambangan prison.
Budiman was recently sentenced to 13 years prison for leading the PRD in its struggle against the Suharto dictatorship.
The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) has received further information about David Dias Ximenes who was arrested on 31 May at his home in Dili. An ETHRC source has confirmed that a warrant was issued for Ximenes' arrest and that he has now had access to legal representation.
Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI) termed the announcement that Indonesia has cancelled a deal to purchase nine F-19 fighter planes from the United States, due to the pressure he has applied on the Indonesian government, as a "major human rights victory".
Jakarta – The armed forces headquarters (Mabes ABRI) has begun putting pressure on the Indonesian press. During a meeting of military heads in Cilangkap, last June 3, it was concluded that the mass media, especially those who covered the general elections were considered to have criticized the government.
A quite surprising reorganisation of the cabinet and changes in the leadership of the army by the president were announced on Wednesday. This was announced by the State Secretary Moerdiono and armed forces chief Faisal Tanjung.
Canberra – Australia's labor federation will support Indonesia at an International Labor Organisation (ILO) conference to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, next june 12, a visiting Indonesian labor leader said here Thursday.
Ian MacKenzie, Jakarta – Indonesia struck back at U.S. congressional critics on Friday, dropping its participation in an American military training program and scrapping plans to buy nine U.S.-made F-16 warplanes.
June 5, 1997
Sampang – Indonesia held an unprecedented re-vote on Madura island yesterday following violence in last week's general election, but many in the area appeared to have stayed away from the polls.
The re-vote of more than 40,000 voters was held in Sampang district on the island off East Java yesterday amid tight security.
Darwin – Twelve people have been killed and more than 200 arrested in the town of Baucau in the past two days, East Timorese activists said yesterday.
More deaths and arrests were suspected in the capital Dili, as well as in Los Palos.
Students and primary school teachers were among those arrested following rebel attacks against Indonesian forces.
The record margin achieved by Indonesia's ruling Golkar Party in parliamentary elections in that country last week moved foreign analysts to weigh in with their assessments of the vote–which most saw as less than fair–and to comment on prospects for the future of yet another five-year term for President Soeharto.
Jakarta – Human Rights Watch/Asia on Thursday voiced concern over what it described as widespread arrests of civilians and dissidents in East Timor by Indonesian security officers after recent guerrilla attacks.
New York – We have received new information about the killing of seven civilians at the home of Castelho, a teacher at the local elementary school in Irara, Los Palos, East Timor, that raises questions about the identity of the attackers.
June 4, 1997
On June 16, 1997, the Indonesian Government will introduce the Manpower Bill to parliament and force its passage into law, thereby consolidating its repression of the labour movement.
Jakarta – The French government has decided to award Indonesian Research and Technology Minister BJ Habibie with the "Grand Officier de la Legion d'Honneur" medal in appreciation of his contribution to the promotion of relations between the two countries.
A series of attacks between May 27 and May 31 by resistance forces in East Timor, leading to the deaths of at least nine civilians and more than twenty military and police, has led to widespread arrests of suspected resistance supporters throughout the territory.
On Tuesday June 3, around 50 youths from the Megawati Supporters Group (Gerakan Pendukung Megawati, GPM) held an action at the national headquarters of the United Development Party (PPP).
The East Timorese armed resistance is very much alive, despite the propaganda claims by the Indonesian armed forces in the Suharto regime that the independence fighters have all been decimated. Over the weekend, East Timor independence fighters killed at least 18 Indonesian police in a highway ambush.
June 3, 1997
[ETAN/US received the following document as a fax, in English, from the resistance in East Timor. This is the first direct report we have seen giving the East Timorese internal resistance's view of recent events.
Jakarta – The alliance between the puppet Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) lead by Soerjadi and those who have so far supported them, the government, has already split. This is indicated by the possibility that the PDI will withdraw all of its legislators from the parliament for the period 1997-2002 because they are deeply disappointed.
Jakarta – All of the predictions and results of research said that the Golput figure would increase in the 1997 elections, now it has come true. Prior to this, the results of polling of Indonesian University students and KNPI research in Malang [which indicated large percentages of students would Golput - JB] was completely rejected by the authorities.
June 2, 1997
Cologne, Germany – East Timor resistance spokesman Ramos Horta said Monday a bloody weekend rebel attack is a warning to the Indonesian authorities to negotiate a solution through the United Nations.
Jakarta – The votes obtained by Golkar skyrocketed leaving the United Development Party (PPP) trailing behind at the end of vote counting. In Jakarta, a region PPP expected to mark a victory, Golkar achieved almost one million votes.
June 1, 1997
Sampang – At least 11 United Development Party (PPP) supporters were wounded when shot by the military during a riot which occurred in the villages of Sampang and Pemekasan, Madura. The masses emotions rose because they were prevented from voting last May 29.
Rob Stokes – "Made in Britain - used in faraway places to kill dissidents". The government is being challenged to ban UK arms and related sales to Indonesia after the programme World in Action uncovered evidence that BAe, Rover and others are supplying the dictatorship there.
Three East Timorese refugees took part in further nonviolent resistance to British weapons exports to Indonesia at the beginning of May, painting various half-assembled armoured vehicles with the message, "NOT FOR EXPORT TO INDONESIA."
May 31, 1997
Louise Williams, Jakarta – The Government-backed Golkar Party has won a sweeping victory in Indonesia's national elections, but it was overkill.
The cost has been to virtually destroy the carefully managed political balance which has channelled and diffused opposition during President Soeharto's three decades in power.
Jenny Grant, Jakarta – provisional results show that President Suharto's Golkar Party won another landslide victory during Indonesian elections last week. But as Jenny Grant reports from Jakarta, the Muslim Party has come in a strong second because the government damaged the other minority party.
Election analysts in Indonesia are claiming widespread irregularities in the country's general elections.
The Jakarta-based Independent Election Monitoring Committee said it had evidence of ballots by unregistered voters, and some people voting twice.
Jenny Grant, Jakarta – Riots and protests at alleged vote-rigging yesterday greeted the ruling Golkar party's triumph in the legislative election.
The Muslim-backed United Development Party (PPP) demanded a new poll in areas where election counting was done secretly, while a poll watchdog blasted election violations.
Jakarta – Indonesia on Saturday replaced its army commander in the heavily militarised province of East Timor, days after the deadliest wave of violence in the territory in recent years, the Antara news agency reported.
May 30, 1997
Richard Borsuk, Jakarta – Early results of Indonesia's parliamentary election confirmed what was known long before the tumultuous campaign – President Suharto's Golkar party will win handily.
Banda Aceh – Troops repulsed suspected Free Aceh Movement separatist rebels approaching a polling station in Pidie regency yesterday, the police said.
Pidie police chief Lt. Col. Teuku Keumala said troops were engaged in a brief shootout with rebels in army-like uniforms at 10:30 a.m. near the polling station.
Jakarta – An independent election monitoring group said on Monday national polls on Thursday would not be fair because they favoured the ruling Golkar party.
Mulyana Kusumah, secretary-general of the Indonesian Election Monitoring Committee (Kipp), said the election process was neither free nor fair.
Jenny Grant, Jakarta – Indonesia's poll watchdog on Friday blasted violations and fraud in the nation's general elections held a day earlier. As Jenny Grant reports from Jakarta the Moslem-backed United Development Party demanded a re-vote in some provinces.
Jim Della-Giacoma, Jakarta – Indonesia's ruling Golkar party was cruising towards its forecast landslide victory in parliamentary elections on Thursday after about half the votes were counted.
Jakarta – The Kopassus commander, Major General Prabowo Subianto, was not present a the Gondangdia polling station, Jl Cendana 31 when president Suharto's family voted in the general elections (29/5) yesterday.
With only about 7% of the vote counted by 10pm last night, this morning's Indonesian newspaper reports are only an indication of the final result. But the detailed regional breakdowns are too tempting to ignore. In short, Golkar is far exceeding its target of 70%, the PPP has nowhere come even near winning a majority, and the PDI is a complete wipeout.
Washington – The United States called for changes in Indonesia's political system on Friday, as the Asian country's ruling party swept to an overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections.
"The United States believes that parliamentary elections are tightly controlled by the government of Indonesia," State Department spokesman John Dinger said.
Sintra, Portugal – "Portugal does not recognise any validity in the elections that took place in East Timor on May 29, as a result of the illegal extension to that territory of the legislative elections in Indonesia", the government has said in a statement.
May 29, 1997
Louise Williams, Jakarta – When Indonesia's democracy leader, Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri, announced her decision to boycott today's election, she joined millions of people so disillusioned with Indonesia's political system that they believe the best way to use their vote is to spoil it.
The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) holds grave fears for the safety of Julio Gomes, 18, from Luca village in the district of Viqueque, who has been missing since his arrest on 4 April 1997.
Indonesian authorities say at least 15 people have died in East Timor, in a series of attacks by suspected separatist rebels.
Michael Maher reports that the violence occurred ahead of elections held throughout Indonesia today.
Leslie Gevirtz, Boston – A Massachusetts state legislative committee Thursday approved a measure that would impose sanctions against companies that do business with Indonesia.
Greg Earl, Jakarta – Mudrick Sangidoe points to his colourful new hat before his third audience in as many hours: "My brother brought this back from Chechnya. I wear it to show we are part of the international Muslim struggle for democracy."
Margot Cohen, Jakarta – The partygoers brought their own weapons-rocks, bricks, knives, machetes, even snakes, were brandished in the final weeks of the general election campaign, dubbed the "festival of democracy." Riots and sporadic attacks spiralled in Jakarta and towns throughout Indonesia in the final days of the campaign before the May 29 elections.
Jim Della-Giacoma, Jakarta – At least 14 people died in a wave of election-eve violence in East Timor and as million of Indonesians voted on Thursday the toll rose when rebels killed a soldier guarding a polling boooth.
Christine T. Tjandraningsih, Jakarta – The ruling Golkar party took a commanding lead Thursday in Indonesia's general election that is guaranteed to keep the party in power for another five years, according to preliminary official returns.
Louise Williams, Jakarta – A jittery Indonesian public prepared to vote in national elections today with 25,000 extra troops securing the capital and rumours circulating of further unrest in the wake of the nation's most violent election campaign in President Soeharto's three decades in power.
For the sixth time in 27 years, the Suharto regime of Indonesia has stage-managed a mock election aimed at legitimizing itself primarily in international eves. For the people of Indonesia these five yearly rituals have little meaning.