For the second day running, 350 workers of PT Farmindo, a wood processing company, stopped work. The company is situated in Tangerang, part of the industrial belt of Jakarta. On the second day the workers showed their anger and started to attack some of the factory buildings.
Indonesia & East Timor Digest
April 16, 1997
Louise Williams, Jakarta – Tens of thousands of Muslim migrant workers will be repatriated from West Kalimantan following months of ethnic clashes, in a blow to Indonesia's ambitious program of moving millions of people away from the overpopulated centre and onto its remote outlying islands.
Some five thousand pro-Megawati members of the PDI filled the street in front of the DPR/MPR building on Tuesday, 15 April, causing extensive traffic jams.
April 15, 1997
Tangerang – Around 4,000 workers from four factories in Tangerang yesterday held a strike demanding they be given the new minimum regional wage (UMR) and well as increases in other conditions.
Jakarta – Sixty people have been interrogated by police inconnection with the destruction of a building housing the office ofthe South Jakarta sub-chapter of the Indonesian Democracy Party (PDI) here Sunday, police said.
Bandung – Thousands of workers have gone on strike in the industrial belts of Purwakarta and Tangerang, demanding that their employers immediately start paying them the new minimum wage of Rp 172,500 (about =A350) a month.
Jakarta – Although the People's Democratic Party (PRD) activists refused to appear in court, the public prosecutor announced the sentence it has requested for punishment of those involved in the subversion case. The event took place on Monday (14/4) at the National Court in Central Jakarta and South Jakarta.
The prosecutors in the nine cases against PRD activists in two district courts in Jakarta presented their summing up to the court on Monday 14 April.
April 14, 1997
Geneva – The European Union (EU) resolution proposal introduced to the 53 annual meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission being held in Geneva has expressed "profound concern" over the continued human rights violations in East Timor.
These are busy days for Indonesia's courts. The youthful leaders of a leftist – and therefore illegal – group are on trial for subversion. Soon, sacked parliamentarian Sri Bintang Pamungkas, a self-proclaimed presidential nominee, will face a judge.
London – The London newspaper, Sunday Business, yesterday (April 13th) broached the heretical possibility that US mining giant Freeport McMoran may be deliberately under-estimating the grade of the Busang gold deposit in Indonesian Kalimantan.
Comrades in struggle!!, in the framework of giving support to the struggle of Mega, let's go to the parliament in Senayan [South-Central Jakarta] on Tuesday, April 15, to join in carrying out a demonstration, strongly protesting the Final PDI Nomination Lists, and prepared to face and resist all obstacles carried out by any party.
April 13, 1997
The Australian Greens party is calling on people to join an organisation which is offering to hide asylum seekers from East Timor if the Federal Government tries to deport them.
The Greens say the Government will send thousands of asylum seekers back if it wins a case currently before the Federal Court.
Jakarta – Indonesian President Suharto yesterday warned the country to guard against rumours which could spark unrest following a wave of mass violence ahead of general election here.
His warning came after reports that more than a dozen pro-Golkar Muslim preachers were in hiding after riots in Central Java.
Susan Berfield and Keith Loveard, Jakarta – Siti Hardyanti Rukmana is a woman of considerable means. She is Indonesia's foremost businesswoman – her diversified conglomerate PT Citra Lamtoro Gung Persada is worth an estimated $1 billion. She is a top official in the ruling party Golkar and, of course, the eldest of President Suharto's six children.
April 12, 1997
Jenny Grant, Jakarta – Students at one of the most prestigious state-run universities are expected to join the swelling ranks of protest voters at the May 29 election, according to a recent poll.
Gianyar – Scores of pro-Megawati PDI supporters in Gianyar besieged the pro-Soerjadi Secretariat during a protest on Friday (11/4). Wearing religious attire they drove around the offices on motorbikes and protested, refusing to accept the existence of [Soerjadi's] version of the congress.
April 11, 1997
Jakarta – When thousands of people gathered in Dili on Christmas eve last year to welcome home East Timor Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo from Oslo, where he had been awarded the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, posters of Xanana Gusmao fluttered from all sections of the crowd.
Geneva – 378 people were reported missed from November 1995 to the same month last year in East Timor, according to a report by the United Nations (UN) chief, Kofi Annan.
[As reported in an earlier posting, the students were calling for a boycott of the elections. This is not mentioned in the Republika report. TAPOL]
Jakarta – Three of the accused in Peoples Democratic Party (PRD) subversion case, Budiman Sudjatmiko, Garda Sembiring and Ignatius Pranowo, who are being tried separately, carried out a walk out, before being question by the Central Jakarta State Court on Thursday (10/4).
Agencies in Dili – Independence leader Jose Ramos Horta said he had evidence troops killed four students who clashed with police in the East Timor capital of Dili last month as they tried to get a petition to a UN special envoy.
Palembang – The 24 anniversary held on the grounds of the headquarters of the South Sumatra PDI offices on Wednesday (9/4), became a physical confrontation between pro-Megawati and pro-Soerjadi cadre.
April 10, 1997
Parts of Central Java appear to be turning into a battleground between GOLKAR and the PPP. These clashes, now being fought out in several towns in the north of the province which are all regarded as PPP strongholds, are a portent of something far more damaging than the 'war of colours' that erupted between PPP supporters and local officials/GOLKAR in Solo and spread elsewhere.]
On April 7 members of the Struggle Alliance for Democracy and Human Rights (APDHAM) entered the courtroom where Dita Sari and Coen Pontoh were being tried. It was the day on which they would read out their defence speeches. At 10.00am Dita and Coen arrived at the court where Dita handed out flowers to the judge, prosecutor and those in the gallery.
According to reports today from AFP (in Jakarta) and Reuter (in Dili), the resistance has killed six and wounded five others in two ambushes in East Timor. The exiled CNRM confirmed the attacks and said the death toll was probably higher, but sources in the Indonesian-occupied territory doubted whether the resistance was involved.
April 9, 1997
An ethnic Chinese man has been jailed for 3.5 years for triggering a race riot in West Java. Tjio Kim Tjang, 55, was convicted of spreading hatred against a certain group in Rengasdengklok by submitting them to humiliating acts.
Jakarta – President Soeharto's health has been an issue in the foreign media all week. It was reported that Suharto (77) suffered a mild stroke on April 1. This report was denied by Foreign Minister Ali Alatas as nonsense.
Keith Loveard – When armed men robbed a bank in the northern town of Lhokseumawe earlier this year, Indonesia's top brass noticed. Not because the men escaped with $172,000. Nor because they killed two people and wounded three military police. Rather, the generals suspected this was no ordinary heist but the work of Acehnese separatists.
Susan Sim, Semarang – Troops were called out to guard a housing estate in the coastal city of Pekalongan yesterday following fresh clashes between supporters of rival political parties.
Dili – Secessionist rebels ambushed a vehicle in East Timor, killing four members of a village defense force and two others in the deadliest rebel attack in more than a year, the military said Wednesday.
Jenny Grant and Agencies in Jakarta – Troops were called out in the town of Pekalongan yesterday as political violence flared again.
"Armed soldiers are stationed in the town. Many shops are closed today because the owners are afraid of fresh violence," said one resident.
April 8, 1997
Surabaya – A strike by around 2,000 workers from PT Ria Star Indonesia (RSI) Surabaya [East Java] followed a confrontation with security forces. As a result, 11 people suffered serious wounds to the head, stomach and chest, legs and arms because they were beaten by security personnel.
Louise Williams, Jakarta – The central Javanese town of Pekalongan was under military control yesterday after further political riots over the weekend which left at least five people injured and more than 60 shops and homes damaged or destroyed.
Surabaya – The Jatim Indonesian Legal and Justice Defence Team (TPHKI) handling the defence of the subversion case against two Peoples Democratic Party (PRD) members Dita Indah Sari and Coen Husein Pontoh have asked that the judge free the two accused.
According to reports in Monday's Republika and Media Indonesia, there were more disturbances in the northern Central Java city of Pekalangan. Around midnight Sunday, 6 April thousands of people ran riot on the streets, destroying motorbikes and vehicles. A tomato puree warehouse was destroyed as well as a batik dyes shop.
Surabaya – A sticker calling for the failure of the 1997 general election has been distributed in Surabaya. Measuring 10x20 centimeters it was distributed in schools and stuck the walls of houses and offices.
Andi Syahpputra, 31 years old, has been sentenced by a Jakarta court to thirty months in prison for printing the journal, Suara Independen, publication of the independent journalists' organisation, AJI.
April 7, 1997
Indonesian Ambassador-at-large, Lopes Da cruz, has refuted foreign allegations that a special program has been developed to spread Islam in the predominantly Roman Catholic province of East Timor. "That is untrue. Catholicism is well developed in that area [East Timor]," he said in Canada on Saturday.
34 people accused of being involved in the demonstration in Dili during the visit last month of Jamsheed Marker, the UN special envoy, are to go on trial very soon, according to a report in today's Kompas 7/IV., quoting Dili police chief, Lr ColBeno Kalipong. They will be charged with physical assault against members of the security forces.
Geneva – The camera zooms in to show a man's blood-covered wrist, nailed to his prison plank. Men in khakis torture inmates with sticks, chair legs, electric shocks and metal chains. A corpse wrapped in rags lies in a corner.
Jakarta – Indonesia said on Monday that Nobel Peace laureate Jose Ramos Horta's claim that he had fresh evidence of widespread torture in East Timor was "a lot of nonsense."
April 6, 1997
ASIET has received the following message (abridged translation) from the East Timorese underground in Java.
Statement begins: Suharto regime murders more Maubere people
When Jose Ramos Horta won the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with his fellow East Tmorese, Monsignor Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo, there were hopes he might be able to dispel the dark cloud of silence that has engulfed the genocide of his people.
April 5, 1997
ASIET has received the following message (abridged translation) from the East Timorese underground in Java
Statement begins: Suharto regime murders more Maubere people
The Government seems to be widening its crackdown on political dissent but students argue that this tactic will simply cripple the next generation of leaders, writes LOUISE WILLIAMS from Yogyakarta, central Java.
Paul Mcgeough and agencies – Dozens of young East Timorese detained since the military broke up a peaceful demonstration in Dili two weeks ago are still in prison, some showing clear signs of being beaten by their captors, the Most Rev Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo says.
April 4, 1997
Gordon Feeney, Jakarta – A new Australian study has accused glamour sports shoe maker Nike of callous exploitation of workers, including children as young as 11.
The study, by Perth academic Mr Peter Hancock, also alleges that in one case in early 1996 a 23-year old woman collapsed from exhaustion in a factory licensed by Nike to make its products.
New report reveals "worst conditions yet" in Nike contractor's factory.
Jakarta – Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said today that the whole debate around President Suharto's health, which has been given ample coverage in the foreign press, is the result of a conspiracy engineered by speculators.