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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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February 17, 1997

Reuters - February 17, 1997

Jakarta – The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) yesterday said it had called on the United Nations human rights investigator to investigate the trial of an Indonesian independent labour union leader charged with subversion.

Kyodo - February 17, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia warned all Japanese media Monday against what it calls bias in their recent coverage of riots in Indonesia.

The Information Ministry sent warning letters to all Japanese media affiliates based in Jakarta.

Antara - February 17, 1997

Pontianak – The Tanjungpura Regional Military Commander, MayGen Namuri Anoem, said that he had no intention to withdraw around 3,000 personnel of the Armed Forces (ABRI) already deployed to the riot-stricken West Kalimantan.

February 16, 1997

Wall Street Journal - February 16, 1997

Richard Borsuk, Jakarta, Indonesia – A dramatic saga over who will develop the giant Busang gold deposit on the island of Borneo is set for a surprise ending.

ABC - February 16, 1997

A mob is reported to have attacked supporters of the Indonesian opposition leader, Megawati Sukarnoputri, in a town south of Jakarta.

The secretary general of the Megawati faction of the Indonesian Democracy Party, Alex Litaay, said about 50 people attacked a group of its supporters in the town of Kopo, about 70 kilometres south of the capital.

Straits Times - February 16, 1997

Jakarta – Police arrested two men who they believed had planned a grenade attack on a Muslim gathering attended by President Suharto last weekend, the state Antara news agency reported yesterday. Chief of the City Police Detectives, Colonel Paimin Aboemr, said on Friday that police had been tipped off about the plot.

Kompas - February 16, 1997

Jakarta – The Secretary General of the Central Leading Board of the United Development Party (DPP PPP) Tosari Widjaya clarified, that the DPP PPP sees the possibility of a setback in the implementation of the General Elections (Pemilu) of 1997. This is caused by ever increasing restrictions which briddle freedom, particularly in implementing Pemilu campaigns.

Straits Times - February 16, 1997

Jakarta – Representatives from the clashing ethnic groups in West Kalimantan are drafting a peace agreement to end the conflict that has rocked the Indonesian province since December, reports said.

It is being drawn up by members of the indigenous Dayak community and migrants from Madura, an island off East Java, the Indonesian Observer reported yesterday.

February 15, 1997

Kompas Online - February 15, 1997

Jakarta – Army Chief of Staff General R Hartono said that the security stability situation and condition in West Kalimantan, up to last week has been amenable to control. Although victims had fallen and considerable material loss suffered, there had been no loss of life of Armed Forces members.

The Economist - February 15, 1997

Driving inland from the west coast of Kalimantan, the Indonesian-controlled part of the island of Borneo, is like entering a war zone.

February 14, 1997

Antara News - February 14, 1997

Jakarta – Police questioned Andrianto, leader of non-governmental organisation Humanika on Thursday, about the slander charges he has filed against Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) chairman Abdurrahman Wahid.

East Timor Human Rights Centre Urgent Action - February 14, 1997

Names: Acacio, 20;Adelino, 27;Agostinho Orlandor, 19;Agostinho, 19;Agustinho da Silva, 19;Alberto, 16;Aleixo da Carvalho, 24;Armando, 25;Armindo Soares, 30;Celestino Jerronimo;DomiNGOs Pinto, 22;Eduardo Amaral, 20;Egas, 20;Evangel Menezes, 22;Fransisco Jesus, 18;Fransisco Rangal, 23;Fransisco Ximenes, 28;Gaspar Pinto, 19;Gaspar, 18;Gaspar, 18;Joaquim, 25;Luis Gama, 20;Luis Pinto, 16

ABC - February 14, 1997

East Timorese activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jose Ramos Horta, has had talks in Adelaide with Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer.

The one-hour meeting was the first between Mr Ramos Horta and the Howard Government.

Mr Ramos Horta says he heard no change to government policy about the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.

SiaR - February 14, 1997

On February 5, the ABRI (Armed Forces) Social and Political Chief of Staff, Syarwan Hamid called in 83 social and political organisations to discuss how to overcome SOB (situation of national crisis) [Javanese acronym - JB]

AP-Dow Jones News Service - February 14, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian government announced Friday deregulation measures that extend export facilities to six new sectors in a bid to bolster the country's non-oil-and gas export competitiveness.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tunky Ariwibowo told reporters Friday these export facilities will be focused on resource-based sectors, which have high locally-based content.

Dow Jones Business News - February 14, 1997

Ben Dummett, Toronto – Bre-X Minerals Ltd.'s (BXMNF) stock is under selling pressure, indicating that investors are disappointed with the Calgary firm's reported deal for the development of its huge Busang gold prospect in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province.

Straits Times - February 14, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia's Parliament will pass a controversial Bill on nuclear power at its plenary meeting on February 26, legislator Muhammad Buang, who has been involved in deliberations, told The Jakarta Post.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 14, 1997

Louise Williams, Jakarta – Indonesian military sources have confirmed that indigenous Dayak tribespeople in the troubled province of West Kalimantan have reverted to head-hunting in their ethnic conflict with Muslim migrant settlers.

Suara Merdeka - February 14, 1997

Temanggung – Over 2.5 hours security forces with help from social figures tried to calm down a riot in the Kledung village in Parakan on Wednesday and Thursday. Three people were wounded, a car set ablaze and a police post destroyed. Traffic between Temanggung and Wonosobo was halted by the authorities for 3.5 hours.

Lusa - February 14, 1997

Geneva – The 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureates, East Timorese Bishop D. Ximenes Belo and activist Jose Ramos Horta, have been invited for a joint news conference during the annual meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) scheduled for March in Geneva.

East Timor Human Rights Centre - February 14, 1997


February 13, 1997

Tapol Press Release - February 13, 1997

Following reports confirmed yesterday of the killing of at least seventeen Dayaks earlier this month at a military roadblock east of Pontianak, the capital of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan (Borneo), TAPOL has asked the British Government to take the lead, in the European Union, in calling for an international investigation into the disturbances.

February 13, 1997

It has all the hallmarks of a great saga: members of Indonesia's most powerful political family vying for control of a spectacular treasure, with most of the international intrigue going on behind the scenes. LOUISE WILLIAMS reports on the battle to mine Busang, the world's richest gold deposit.

Associated Press - February 13, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian military has banned a book by two dissident groups about the July 27 riot in Jakarta that killed five people, the official news agency Antara said Thursday.

"The July 27 Incident," released in January, accused President Suharto's government of fueling a power struggle within an opposition party that led to the violence.

The Guardian - February 13, 1997

John Aglionby, Jakarta – Hundreds of people have been killed in two weeks of ethnic unrest in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan in Borneo, a military source said yesterday.

Other reports said Indonesian soldiers had shot 17 people in quelling the violence between indigenous tribes and migrants from Madura, an island north-east of Java.

TAPOL Press Release - February 13, 1997

One year on from the Scott Report, three organisations are threatening to take the Government to court for arming one of the world's most repressive .regimes, Indonesia. They have obtained unique photographic evidence which proves that the Government is breaching its own policies on arms exports and human rights.

Antara News - February 13, 1997

Jakarta – President Soeharto on Wednesday expressed concern over some Indonesian journalists' way of using the framework of the foreign press in reporting the country's events.

"I call for a deeper re-examination of the values inherent to the foreign press' way of reporting events in Indonesia, "Soeharto said in his address commemorating the National Press Day.

The Guardian - February 13, 1997

David Hencke – The Foreign Office is investigating allegations that the Indonesian government has broken its undertaking not to use British-made water cannon and armoured vehicles to crush peaceful dissent.

Unknown - February 13, 1997

Kuching – The Sarawak-West Kalimantan border post at Tebedu, 100km from here, was reopened at noon yesterday, about 10 days after the gate was closed to control the movement of people following racial riots on the Indonesian side.

An Immigration Department official at the Tebedu checkpoint said the police instructed them to reopen it.

ABC Radio Australia - February 13, 1997

Around one-hundred people are believed to have been detained by authorities in East Timor, following more than a week of unrest. Church sources say rioting was sparked by military heavyhandedness in the Viqueque district.

Indonesia correspondent Michael Maher reports:

Amnesty International - February 13, 1997

Tomas Caiware (35), Fransisco Ximenes (28), Celestino Jerronimo, Armindo Soares (30), Gaspar Pinto (19), Agostinho Orlandor (19), Evangel Menezes (22), Fransisco Jesus (18), Armando (25), Paulo (28), Paulo Soares (27), Adelino (27), Agustinho da Silva (19), Gaspar (18), Acacio (20), Napoleon Amaral (27), Luis (27), Luis (20), DomiNGOs Pinto (22), Eduardo Amaral (20), Alberto (16), L

Kyodo - February 13, 1997

Jakarta – Militant Muslim leaders in Indonesia have attacked as insufficient a planned government decree which will limit sales of alcoholic drinks, a newspaper said Thursday.

February 12, 1997

Agence France Presse - February 12, 1997

Jakarta – A supporter of Indonesia's ousted opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri has been named as a suspect for allegedly organizing an illegal meeting at her home, a daily reported here Wednesday.

Antara News - February 12, 1997

Mataram – Army Chief of Staff General R Hartono has called for continued efforts to "socialize" the presence of alert posts to balance the fact that certain quarters in the country were still questioning the legality of their formation.

Speaking to the press here on Sunday, Hartono said actually there was no fundamental problem in the presence of the alert posts.

Jakarta Post - February 12, 1997

Jakarta – The House of Representatives will pass the controversial bill on nuclear power in its plenary meeting scheduled assage omittefor Feb. 26, a legislator said yesterday.

Agence France Presse - February 12, 1997

Jakarta – Ethnic unrest in a troubled Indonesian province has left dozens of people dead since the start of the year, a military source told AFP Wednesday, as unconfirmed independent figures put casualties in the hundreds. "Dozens of people have died since the start of the unrest," said a source in the military information office here, who declined to be identified.

February 11, 1997

Australian Broadcasting Corporation - February 11, 1997

The Australian government has approved a massive oil project in the Timor Sea, involving the world's biggest offshore floating oil production facility.

Federal Resources Minister, Warwick Parer, issued a production licence for the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields, which are believed to contain 200 million barrels of oil.

Sydney Morning Herald - February 11, 1997

Craig Skehan – New Zealand had created a foreign policy "headache" for Australia by revealing that it did not believe Indonesia's incorporation of East Timor was irreversible, according to a confidential foreign affairs department cable.

February 10, 1997

AsiaOne Online - February 10, 1997

S N Vasuki – Indonesian banks are suffering a long-expected shakeout as higher capital requirements and increased competition force gut-wrenching change in the industry.

In recent weeks, several banks have announced merger plans while larger, listed entities are on a cash-raising binge to boost their capital levels.

Canberra Times - February 10, 1997

Ian McPhedran – The Indonesian Government has been severely embarrassed by a campaign of misinformation in the wake of a visit to Canberra last week by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta.

Time Magazine - February 10, 1997

Michael Shari, Jakarta – Indonesian labor leader Muchtar Pakpahan looks remarkably calm for a man who could soon face a long prison sentence or even the death penalty. He's on trial in Jakarta for insulting President Suharto – a capital crime – and no one has ever been acquitted on that charge.

February 8, 1997

Agence France Presse - February 8, 1997

Jakarta – The Indonesian province of West Kalimantan remained tense Saturday following days of ethnic unrest, with the authorities barring street processions for the Moslem Idul Fitri celebrations Sunday.

"Pontianak (West Kalimantan's capital) is calm but still tense. We continue to have neighborhood patrols at night," a resident told AFP by telephone.

Agence France Presse - February 8, 1997

Jakarta – A prominent Indonesian Moslem leader known as a frequent government critic has made the surprising move of cooperating with President Suharto's oldest daughter, news reports said Saturday.

Agence France Presse - February 8, 1997

Jakarta – The arrest and trial of an activist caught with copies of a banned magazine was Saturday branded by a human rights watch dog as the latest assault on freedom of expression in Indonesia.

Republika - February 8, 1997

Jakarta – The Jakarta High Court has returned the case file of Romo Sandyawan SJ and his brother Benny Sumardi to the Metro Jaya police on the grounds that it is not enough to present in court.

February 7, 1997

Oneworld - February 7, 1997

Han Jei, Moluccan archipelago, Indonesia – "Blast" and poison fishing and the growing use of dragnets are threatening traditionally abundant fisheries in Indonesia's Moluccas islands.

The practices are not simply indiscriminately killing fish but are also depleting coral reefs and the rest of the underwater ecosystem.

Media Indonesia - February 7, 1997

Jakarta – Megawati Sukarnoputri, a member of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia, yesterday did not comply with a summons by the South Jakarta District Police to be interrogated over the holding of a political meeting at her residence on Kebagusan Road in South Jakarta on 10 January.

Antara News - February 7, 1997

Bandung – At least three persons suspected of instigating the Tasikmalaya riot on December 26 have been questioned by the provincial attorney's office.

Deputy chief of the West Java attorney's office, Armin Aribowo, told ANTARA Wednesday that his office is still searching for MH(24), another suspect who went into hiding right after the riot.

Unknown - February 7, 1997

Jakarta – Indonesia must be vigilant of maneuvers by the international communist network which wants to play one side off against the other with issues of tribe, religion, race and inter-group (SARA) along with human rights to split the nation, said the head of the Indonesian Islamic Scholars Association (ICMI), B.J. Habibie.

Agence France Presse - February 7, 1997

Pontianak – The large Chinese community in the troubled Indonesian province of West Kalimantan celebrated the Lunar New Year on Friday in solemn mood.