Genocide of Non-Muslims in Indonesia


Map of Indonesian Islands for perspective showing East Timor and Papua New Guinea


Persecution of Chinese in Indonesia

Post by feifei_fairy on Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:26 pm

Persecution of Chinese in Indonesia
9 October 1740 began the slaughter of Chinese in Batavia. Netherlands troops (including natives under them) pillaging ,raping and killing,even patients and babies killed in hospital. This lasted for eight days. Estimated 10.000 Chinese were killed .During the Java war, the ethnic cleansing to Chinese committed by Prince Duke Cakraningrat IV on the north coast of Central Java / East Java, from Tuban, Gresik to Surabaya.In Ngawi also occurs massacre led by Yudakusuma Raden Ayu. It spread throughout Central Java and along the Solo River, the massacre of Chinese occurred repeatedly during the Java war.May 1946, a massacre of Chinese in Tangerang and surrounding areas. 1500 Chinese house destroyed.Anh then rape, massacres, arson spread to Bagan Siapiapi, Kuningan, Majalengka, Indramayu, Pekalongan, Tegal, Puwokerto, Purbalingga, Bobotsari, Gombong, Lumajang, Jember, Malang, Lawang , Singosari and other areas. Thousands shops, factories, vehicles burned out and looted.Therefore Chinese founded an organization called “Pao An Tui” because Chinese facing robbery, rape and murder every day.31 Oct 1918,Most houses and shops owned by ethnic Tionghoa in Kudus was looted and burnt down by thousands mass of Sarekat Islam that comes from Mayong, Jepara, Pati, Demak and nearby regions.At that time Tionghoa traders was main competitors for Islamic traders.Peraturan Presiden Nomor 10 tahun 1959 was a law directive issued by Indonesian Government and signed by Ministry of Trade Rachmat Mujomisero. The law prohibited foreign nationals from doing retail business outside urban areas (including rural areas) and must transfer their businesses to Indonesian nationals by 1 January 1960 or relocate to urban areas. This directive was approved by former President Sukarno under threat by army. The rule became controversial since its implementation resulting in several thousand or more people being killed in West Java (also known as racial riot of Cibadak) and triggered a huge exodus of Chinese Indonesians to return to China.Although the regulation merely mentioned that only “foreign citizens” were required to do the relocation and closure of business, the law affected many Chinese nationals and Chinese Indonesian. Although the sanctions specified in the directive were only property confiscation (all items must be given to Koperasi),fines, and forced relocation, in practice, there are records of some offenders executed (Cimahi and Cibadak, West Java) and their businesses were confiscated.In some places the law was enforced by the military. The military shot dead two Chinese women, which triggered a riot in Cimahi, Jawa Barat. It is also noted that the Chinese were forced to leave their home and properties.10 May 1963 in Bandung and its surroundings riots started because a fight on the campus of ITB,between a Chinese Indonesian student and a native student,the fight caused by motorcycle accident. Then pioneered by ITB and Universitas Padjadjaran students, began the mass destruction of shops, houses and vehicles owned by ethnic Chinese inBandung. Hundreds of shops, houses, factories, motor vehicles were burned out or damaged and looted.Then anarchist action spread to other cities in West Java,like Tasikmalaya, Garut, Cianjur, Sukabumi dllnya. Ironically Tjwan Bing Yap,one of Indonesian independence hero also a victim of these anarchist action.This event was very disappointed him, so he and family were immigrated to the U.S. until his last breath.

October 1965, and feeding off pent-up communal hatreds, the Indonesian army and its civilian allies (especially Muslim vigilante groups) began to kill actual and suspected members and associates of the PKI. Not all victims were PKI members; often the label “PKI” was used to include anyone to the left of the Indonesian National Party(PNI), in other cases victims were suspected or simply alleged Communists.Local Chinese were killed in some areas, and their properties looted and burned as a result of anti-Chinese racism on the excuse that Aidit had brought the PKI closer to China. In the predominantly Christian islands of Nusa Tenggara, Christian clergy and teachers suffered at the hands of Muslim youth.In West Kalimantan, approximately eighteen months after the worst of the killings in Java, indigenous Dayaks expelled 45,000 ethnic Chinese out of rural areas, in which hundreds, or perhaps thousands were killed.Corpses were often thrown into rivers, and at one point officials complained to the army that the rivers running into the city of Surabaya were clogged with bodies. In areas such as Kediri in East Java, Nahdlatul Ulama youth wing (Ansor) members lined up Communists, cut their throats and disposed of the bodies in rivers.The killings left whole sections of villages empty, and the houses of victims or the interned were looted and often handed over to the military.The killings started in the capital Jakarta, spread to Central and East Java, and later Bali. Although killings occurred acrossIndonesia, the worst were in PKI strongholds of Central Java, East Java, Bali, and northern Sumatra. The massacres reached their peak over the remainder of the year before subsiding in the early months of 1966. The estimates of the death toll of the violence range from over 100,000 to 3 million, but most scholars accept a figure of around 500,000. As a result of the purge, one of Sukarno’s three pillars of support, the Indonesian Communist Party, had been effectively eliminated by the other two, the military and political Islam. In addition to the PKI, this faction was also hostile toward Sukarno-loyalists, and the Chinese. The fates of victims in prisons were not better than those who were summarily executed. Tortures and killings could happen even in the prisons. For female prisoners, beside tortures, they were also subject to sexual harassments.

In 1967, for reasons to quell Sarawak People’s Guerrilla Army (PGRS), the Indonesian military forces have succeeded in provoking the Dayak tribe in West Kalimantan that result in acts of carnage and violence against ethnic Chinese Indonesian in remote villages. As a result tens of thousands of ethnic Chinese became refugees in Singkawang andPontianak which then they spread to Jakarta and major cities in Java.

27 June 1973 Palu,A group of youths destroyed Chinese store. Riots arose because store owner wearing a paper containing Arabic letters as merchandise packaging.

5 August 1973 Bandung, Riot starting from a cart with car accident. The car passenger was Chinese.Then riots erupted everywhere.

April 1980 Ujungpandang, a household servant died suddenly. Then rumors spread that she was tortured to death by her Chinese employer. Race riots erupted. Hundreds of houses and shops owned by ethnic Chinese destroyed.

12 April 1980 Medan, A group of USU students going around town on motorcycles, while shouts anti Chinese. Riots originated from a fight.

20 November 1980 Solo,Riots swept the city of Solo and spread to other cities in Java Central. This incident started because School Teacher and Student fights,the student was Chinese.The fight turned into the destruction and burning of shops owned by Chinese.

September 1986 Singapore,Indonesian TKI abused by Chinese employer. The incident provoked public anger in Surabaya. They pelted cars and shops owned by the Chinese.

26 July 95,Rioting in the south Kalimantan provincial capital ofBanjarmasin has resulted in the destruction of at least seven shops owned by ethnic Chinese. Eleven arrests have been made. The rioting began as the result of an argument between a shopkeeper and a customer.

Nov 95,More than 60 people have been arrested following three days of riots in Purwakarta district in West Java. The riots reportedly began when a 14-year old Muslim girl was allegedly slapped by her ethnic Chinese employees and the owner of a local shop for stealing chocolates. At its highpoint, more than 20,000 people rampaged the business center. Over 20 shops and several cars and homes were seriously damaged.

30 Nov 95,Calm is now reported in the city of Pekalongan, 325 km east of Jakarta, following three days of anti-Chinese riots. The rioting reportedly began after an ethnic Chinese tore pages from the Koran. The police have released 23 people arrested in connection with the violence. Property owned by the ethnic Chinese was ransacked.The Chinese man, who reportedly instigated three days of riots in Pekalongan when he allegedly tore pages of the Koran, has died under mysterious circumstances in a Pekalongan jail. The results of an autopsy were not released.

15 Jan 96,Chinese businesses and vehicles are targeted in riots that erupt in the West Java city of Bandung following a rock concert.

29 July 96,Government buildings and banks are burnt, three people are killed and some 200 arrested as thousands protest against the Suharto regime. The riots come on the heels of the government-supported ousting of Megawati Sukarnoputri as leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party. Some reports indicate that Chinese businesses were specifically attacked.

12 Oct 96,A heavy security presence remains in the East Java town ofSitubondo after some 3000 Muslims riot. Five people are killed and around 120 arrested. Eighteen churches are burnt; a Chinese temple and Chinese-owned stores are vandalized. The rioters were reportedly angered by a court decision to impose only a five year prison sentence on a Muslim sect leader who was charged with insulting Islam.

27 Dec 96,Chinese businesses and Christian churches are targeted as thousands of Muslims riot in Tasikmalaya, West Java. Two of the four dead are Chinese. 100 buildings are damaged or burnt while some 200 are arrested. The riot reportedly erupted due to the police’s mistreatment of three Muslim teachers.

30 Jan 97,Thousands riot in the West Java town of Rengasdengklok, attacking 4 churches, 2 Buddhist temples, and some 100 buildings, many owned by the Chinese. The incident occurs after a Chinese woman complains about the noise being made by Muslims who are observing Ramadan. A few days ago, flyers that threatened to destroy Christian and Chinese properties were distributed in Bandung.

30 March 97,30 people are charged in connection with three days of riots last week in the Central Java town of Pekalongan. Over 60 buildings, mostly Chinese, were damaged. The rioting occurred in the context of political disputes between Golkar and the Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP), who are contesting the May 29 federal elections.

25 may 97,80 people are killed as fire engulfs a shopping centre in the South Kalimantan capital of Banjarmasin. The fire occurs as thousands of Golkar and PPP supporters rampage through the city. Some churches and a Buddhist temple are burnt along with Chinese-owned businesses.

2 June 97,Chinese properties and three churches are attacked as hundreds rampage in Kadipaten, West Java. The unrest allegedly began due to a rumor that a Chinese shop owner strip-searched a female who was accused of shoplifting.

16 Sep 97,Three days of anti-Chinese riots in the South Sulawesi city ofUjungpandang result in four deaths. The damage to over 1000 buildings is valued at $4 million. The unrest reportedly arose when a Chinese man with a history of mental disease allegedly killed two females.

21 Jan 98,Chinese shops are attacked in the East Java town of Jemberfollowing increases in the prices of basic goods.

10 Feb 98,Several Chinese-owned shops are targeted in two days of riots and looting in Ende on Flores Island. Hundreds of Indonesian Chinese seek sanctuary with the military and police. [1]

CIA’s role in anti-Chinese genocide

January 23rd, 2013 melektaus

The ethnic Chinese in Indonesia has faced many decades of racism and sometimes pogroms from Indonesians envious and suspicious of the Chinese. What is lesser known is that the US and especially the CIA played a cunning, covert role in spreading the defamatory lies and colluded with the racist Islamic government of Indonesia inciting the racial violence and ethnic cleansing against them.

The ethnic Chinese population is roughly 2-4% of Indonesia’s total population but there are persistent rumors that they own >70% of the wealth. This perceived economic success (which may not even be accurate due to the systematic discrimination the Chinese have endured for centuries in the country stretching all the way to Dutch colonial rule to prevent them from attaining certain degrees of success) has caused distrust and envy among many Indonesians mirroring the antisemitism during the early part of the twentieth century in Europe.

Anti-Chinese race riots and government sanctioned targeted paramilitary massacres in Indonesia have occurred since the 60s. But one of the principle causes for these organized massacres (much of which seemed to have been backed by the Indonesian government) is CIA black propaganda. Black propaganda is defined as false information purporting to come from one side of a conflict when its actually from another source. Take the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This was purportedly from a council of powerful Jewish elders who plotted to take over the world when in fact it was written by anti-Semites trying to defame Jews.

The CIA during the 50s, 60s and 70s were notorious for their use of black propaganda around the world in their efforts to destabilize regimes and political parties they did not like often pitting one ethnic, religious or political group against another. One tactic was to use leaflets made to look like propaganda from one group which advocated atrocities and domination of another group when this was actually CIA forgeries used to create enmity between the groups. We know from the CIA’s own records released through the Freedom of Information Act that the CIA did this throughout the world creating ethnic, political conflict, strife and even wars.

The CIA’s central role in Indonesia during the 60s was to spread anti-communist propaganda. Moreover they tried to cast a shadow over the ethnic Chinese population in Indonesia in portraying them as all agents of Beijing with the intent of “colonizing” Indonesia or to turn it into a godless, anti-Islamic, communist satellite. CIA propaganda hinting that China was trying to colonize Indonesia and had conspired to overtake the society from within was spread with the help of the Indonesian government. The aim was to spread rumors about armed coups, government subversion, social and economic domination, subversive political control and foreign imperialism by ethnic Chinese people and the PRC. None of these rumors have ever been substantiated. But during large scale anti-communist massacres in the 60s, the ethnic Chinese population were one of the primary targets of Suharto’s brutal regime.These were not just anti-Communist massacres but anti-Chinese. The Suharto Indonesian dictatorship made what they termed the “Chinese problem” one of their main concerns and they considered their association with the CIA to be part of the “final solution” to that problem. Anti-Chinese genocide and ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of Chinese people were the result in one of the most forgotten and least mourned genocides of the 20th century. As I have already noted elsewhere, it’s important to keep in mind that much of the propaganda directed against China is also directed at the Chinese people. Much of it is inherently racist.

Suharto also made speaking Chinese, Hanzi characters, and even Chinese names illegal. These no doubt are great examples of genuine incidents of cultural genocide.

More than 30 years later, the Suharto regime was still in power but before the end of its long rein of terror in 1998, his regime coordinated one last death spasm resulting in an anti-Chinese pogrom leaving at least 1500 dead ethnic Chinese and hundreds of rapes against Chinese women and girls. The Indonesian government has since launched an investigation into these crimes but there has been no prosecutions and many of the Indonesian politicians and military provocateurs who spurred on anti-Chinese racism by directing rioters to target Chinese people and their business (many signs read “Ganyang Cina!” or “Crush the Chinese!”) during that time and thus inciting the violence have rerun for office. That shouldn’t be surprising as the Indonesian government again, seems to have been culpable in spurring on anti-Chinese racism and coordinating attacks. These incidents provide another example of when international intervention is not only permissible but probably obligatory. Mainland China’s seeming indifference and inaction during those times angered many ethnic Chinese all over the world. Protests at the Indonesia embassy took place in Beijing. Chinese in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and many other places rallied and demanded the world take action and the government of Taiwan threatened sanctions. But mainland China remained as closed off as ever. The west also seemed muted and indifferent. When these incidents were reported, often the racial, genocidal, ethnic cleansing element was left out. Sometimes the victims were blamed for causing economic inequality in the country and the issue was framed into one of the poor masses turning against an elite ethnic group (despite the fact that most of the Chinese Indonesians victims were living in abject poverty along with other Indonesians).

As China gains its strength, realizes its place in the world it will hopefully do more than it has, perhaps even conduct military operations against countries that persecute their Chinese minority. Changes in its view of its place in the world seems to be taking place since 1998 spurred on by events such as those in Indonesia. If the west is truly interested in protecting human rights and stopping genocide and ethnic cleansing it would assist China’s efforts to stop them but history has shown that it has always played the role of perpetrator, aider and abetter of these crimes. [2]

Genocide in East Timor

Made in the USA

by Michael Steinberg

Z magazine, December 1999

The U.S. role in the recent catalog of horrors in East Timor is deep and far reaching, the culmination of over three decades of nurturing the Indonesian fascist regime. Just as the U.S. mainstream media has attempted to suppress the clear connection between the Indonesian military and its militias in carrying out genocide in East Timor, the U.S. government and its corporate sponsors vigorously deny any role in the slaughter and devastation there.

Fortunately alternative sources of information are still available to those who take the trouble to seek them out.

In Jakarta on September 30, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen declared that the Indonesian military “aided and abetted violence in East Timor.”

Cohen’s belated self-righteous denunciation was a far cry from a visit in 1998, when he spent quality time at the headquarters of the Indonesian army’s notorious special forces, Kopassus, in the company of its then commander, General Prabowo Subianto. According to journalist Allan Nairn, who reported this in the April 20, 1998, Nation, Cohen and the general “watched the U.S. trained killers execute maneuvers for their sponsor from Washington” for three hours.

Nairn further reported that “Prabowo is Suharto’s son-in-law, the Indonesian business partner (through his wife) of Merrill Lynch, and one of the key sponsors of the U.S.-Indonesian Society, an influential pro-Suharto U.S. front group launched in 1994 and backed by ABRI [the Indonesian military], U.S. corporations, and former Pentagon, State Department and CIA officials.”

A 1994 Amnesty International report on Indonesia stated, “Army personnel and members of elite military units, such as the Special Forces Command (Kopassus)…have been responsible for the most grave violations against suspected political opponents.” Because of the well-documented record of human rights violations by Kopassus and other elements of the Indonesian military, in the early l990s the U.S. Congress cut off funding for training of Indonesian military personnel by U.S. forces

But the Pentagon did an end run around this prohibition by quietly pushing through Section 2011 of Title 10 of the U.S. code. This law allowed the Pentagon to send U.S. Special Forces to other countries, not as congressionally forbidden trainers, but ostensibly to be trained by foreign military personnel. This time distinction was more fiction that fact. In Pentagon doublespeak, even training foreign soldiers under this program was considered a form of training for the U.S. trainers. The program was dubbed Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET).

Indonesia was one of the prime beneficiaries of this program. In his 1998 Nation article, Allan Nairn reported that “at least thirty-six [JCET] exercises” in Indonesia “with fully armed U.S. combat troops … including Green Berets, Air Force Commandos, and Marines. “

Nairn further reported that “By far the main recipient of the U.S. special training has been a force legendary for specializing in torture, disappearances and night raids on civilian homes. Of the twenty-eight Army/Air Force exercises known to have been conducted since 1982, Pentagon documents indicate that twenty have involved the dreaded Kopassus Red Berets.”

Nairn wrote that U.S. exercises with Kopassus included Sniper Level II, Demolition and Air Operations, Close Quarters Combat, and Advanced Sniper Techniques.

In July 1998, the Washington Post ran a major series on JCETs. In a lead story in its July 12 edition, the Post confirmed Nairn’s assertions: “In Indonesia [U.S.] special operations forces have conducted 41 training exercises since 1991…. Most of the exercises involved Indonesia’s elite Kopassus troops, whom U.S. officials have accused of involvement in kidnapping and torture of anti-government activists.”

The Post article also reported an October 1997 exercise in Jakarta conducted by ” 12 U.S. Army Special Forces troops” for “60 troops from… Kopassus and the Jakarta area military command.” The mission: “Find the enemy somewhere in a warren of plywood rooms, blow a hole in the wall and kill or capture as many as possible…,” “how to plan and conduct close-quarters combat and other time points of urban warfare.”

“We just showed them how we do it and they adopted what they want,” a U.S. participant in such exercises told the Post.

Less than two years later, just exactly how these lessons were adopted exploded into the world’s view in the streets of Dili, East Timor’s capital in September 1999. Throughout East Timor thousands were murdered, hundreds of thousands made homeless, entire cities burnt to the ground. There is ample evidence that the U.S. government knew this was coming, and that their trained killers would play a leading role.

Largely due to Nairn’s and then the Post’s articles, Congress also prohibited JCETs in late 1998. At the end of October, the East Timor Action Network, another major player in bringing about this change, reported that Indonesian military confidential documents it had obtained revealed a troop buildup in East Timor. This included “one Kopassus company and Kopassus intelligence and headquarters units still in the territory. Indonesia claims that all Special Forces have been withdrawn.”

The report also stated that “the documents contradict the claim by Indonesia that paramilitary groups are not under ABRI’s command,” and quoted an Australian group that released the documents as stating that “these forces are perceived by ABRI’s administration to be part of their operational structure.”

Following attacks by pro-Indonesia militias in Dili in April 1999, Human Rights Watch put out a report on the connections between the militias and the Indonesian military. The report stated that Eurico Gutteres led Aitarak, the militia responsible for the attacks. The report described Gutteres as “a leading figure in Gardapaksi,” a pro-independence youth gang whose “members were reported to receive military training and non-lethal equipment from Kopassus. “

The Human Rights Watch report also stated that a letter sent threatening Australian journalists and diplomats in Indonesia “was faxed from a hotel in Jakarta where Gutteres and other militia leaders were meeting with President Habibe.”

Another militia in East Timor, Besi Mara Rutih, was said to be responsible for massacring dozens of people in a church in Liquica in April. The report stated that the group “claimed by early February [1999] to have a membership of 2890 and was going on joint patrols with Battalion 143 of the Indonesian army.” A week after the church massacre, this militia attacked the convoy of Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Belo. The Human Rights Watch report stated that “Eyewitness accounts from both attacks indicate that troops from the Liquica district and Maubara sub district commands were present at the time of the militia attacks and far from trying to prevent violence provided active support to their operations.”

The report further stated that yet another militia in East Timor, Suka, “is led by Sgt. Jaonico da Costa of…Kopassus, and most of its members worked as guards or logistical support for the army.”

All Hell Breaks Loose

When all hell broke loose in East Timor in early September following the announcement that 78 percent of voters chose independence from Indonesia, the U.S. media by and large reported this as the reaction of militias gone mad. But there was a method not solely of their own in this madness.

On September 11, Melbourne, Australia, newspaper The Age reported that, before the elections were held, Australian “intelligence services have warned that the Indonesian military was orchestrating a violent campaign to hold on to the territory.” The Age reported that Australian intelligence had intercepted mobile and satellite phone communications between militia and military leaders and “intercepted ‘damning’ conversations.”

In addition, the newspaper reported that “In July leaked Indonesian Government documents predicted a win for independence supporters “in East Timor,” outlined a scorched-earth plan,” and “said Jakarta should put the army on alert and consider increasing its support for the militia groups.”

The Australian government learned of these documents too, and passed on all this information to the UN-and presumably to the U.S. as well. But despite this, the UN decided to believe the Indonesian government’s promises of controlling violence in East Timor. A few examples of the horror that followed should suffice to demonstrate the terror unleashed by the U.S. trained and armed Indonesian forces. All are from reports by The Age. The Melbourne newspaper reported on September 17 the eyewitness testimony of Joao Brito, 15, of Ermera in East Timor: “He told of events on 3 September, the day the result of the 30 August autonomy referendum was announced.”

“An hour after the announcement, two trucks of Kopassus special forces arrived in Ermera. The men were dressed in the black T-shirts of the Aitarak militia. Militia members recruited in West Timor accompanied them. Joao and others watched their arrival from a hillside coffee plantation.”

“The soldiers, armed with automatic weapons and carrying cans of petrol, were after independence leaders. “

“They called house-to-house and they burned out the political leaders,” Joao said. “When the houses burnt, they let the women and children out, but they pushed the men back into the fire where they died.”

Then the terrorists marched through the village, burning buildings, shooting, and slashing people with machetes. “After they cut with machete, they shouted and danced because they are happy they kill people,” Joao said. “They say ‘you dogs. You do not have the right to independence’.”

On September 12, The Age reported that on September 5, Inge Lempp, an election observer with the International Federation for East Timor (IFET), intercepted “radio communications between Indonesian arm operatives and militias around the town of Same in East Timor.”

“Those blondies from IFET. Take them out of the car and kill them,” ordered the army leader, “then throw their bodies in the river.”

“‘Throw their bodies in the river.’ I heard that repeated three times to different militia heads,” Lempp reported. Lempp escaped safely, but thousands of East Timorese were not so fortunate. The Age reported that on September 8, the Timorese wife of an Australian aid worker saw stacks of corpses in police headquarters “in a building once used as a torture cell for political prisoners.” In Indonesia the police are part of the military.

“My wife told me she saw bodies stacked high, thousands of them,” Ira Bainbridge said. “She smelt the bodies…. My wife saw arms and legs and dripping blood.”

The U.S. has not been alone in supporting the Indonesian fascist regime. As recently as August 27, The Age reported that Australia’s government “will maintain its close links with Indonesian military forces despite evidence that he military has committed atrocities throughout Indonesia during the past nine years.”

“The continuing contact will include the controversial practice of joint exercises and training exercises with Kopassus, the Indonesian elite Special Forces most heavily implicated in the atrocities.” Following the September atrocities Australia canceled these plans.

The Vancouver Sun reported in 1997 that “Canada is currently considering a series of requests by the Indonesian armed forces to establish closer ties potentially by agreeing to train Indonesian officers in Canada,” since this practice had been banned in the U.S. The article went on to note that “From the perspective of Canadian investment and the safety of the 5000 Canadian expatriates living on the islands, that decision might make sense…. Canada’s business prospects in Indonesia are extremely bright, with exports exploding from $350 million in 1991 to $825 million in 1996.”

Fascism proved to be very good for business until the economic collapse of recent years. Through it all the main sponsor and beneficiary has been the USA. Now that the recent horrors in East Timor have finally pricked the world’s conscience, it is the height of hypocrisy for Clinton and Cohen to condemn the bloodbath that was the end result of a policy of protecting U.S. interests and investments in Indonesia at all costs. After all, the Indonesian fascists have only learned their masters’ lessons all too well.

Michael Steinberg is an investigative journalist based in Durham, NC. He is the author of Millstone and Me: Sex, Lies and Radiation in Southeastern Connecticut. [3]

The Secret Genocide in West Papua by Indonesia

Far away from the attention of the mainstream media, the Indonesian army is slaughtering the native population of West Papua, while making the way for western, Asian and Australian logging companies who are rapidly destroying the second largest rain-forest in the world. Since 1969  when West Papua was unrightfully annexed by Indonesia 500,000 Papuans have killed and many others raped, tortured and dislocated. Most people are unaware that this is happening, so we have to take the responsibility of the media and raise awareness about this disaster.
Papua, the Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea, belongs to the lungs of this world as it contains 31,5 million acres of tropical rain forest.
If the trees were to be cut, it would mean a threat to the livelihood and culture of many Papuan tribes. Deforestation means the destruction of their medicinal and food resources, expelling their ancestors and committing a heinous crime against nature. Deforestation will lead to suffering, disaster and chaos for the Papuans The forests form a part of their heritage.
In West Papua, Indonesia makes no pretense of negotiating with traditional landowners; they are thrown off the land, destined to become refugees or to be shot or forced into slave labor for the Indonesians. Canadian and Australian logging companies have joined the Malaysians and the
(Japanese in the race to destroy New Guinea’s tropical forests. Concurrent with Australia token gesture of giving the rock star Sting US $205,000 to support the protection of Brazilian rain forests, an Australian company announced plans to log a massive area of pristine rain forest in the Mamberamo River area – 600,000 hectares – in partnership with an Indonesian company (Sun Herald 5/28/89). Refugees from this area are exiled in Papua New Guinea camps along with people from every region of West Papua.
This report from Channel 4 News in the UK shows the degrading level of brutality that the Papuan people are exposed to on a daily basis under Indonesian colonial rule.
Foreign journalists are banned from West Papua – the Indonesian Government are desperate to hide the genocide from the outside world. Even NGO groups like Red Cross and Peace Brigades have been expelled in recent times. This disturbing footage was shot on mobile phones by Indonesian soldiers as ‘trophy footage’ for them to show their families.
In West Papua there is no peace, no justice. There is only killing, rape, torture, intimidation, bloodshed, oppression, village burnings, racism and eternal suffering for those living under Indonesia’s colonial occupation. [4]


Why has the world buried their heads in the sand when genocide is being carried out under their noses? Most people, particularly in the West, have very little knowledge of the problems in the East. So let us attempt to try to see the fundamental problems as it presents itself. What are the roots of this hatred that turns humans into genocide monsters?


(1)  1600’s – Portuguese invade Timor, set up trading post and use island as source of sandalwood.
(2)  1749 – Timor split following battle between Portuguese and Dutch. Portuguese take the eastern half.
(3)  1942 – Japanese invade, fighting battles with Australian troops. Up to 60,000 East Timorese are killed. Japan in control until 1945.
(4)  1974 – Revolution in Portugal leads to promise to free colonies, encouraging parties to prepare for new future.
(5)  1975 – August – Portuguese administration withdraws to offshore island of Atauro.
(6)  1975 – October – Five Australian-based journalists killed along border with West Timor, allegedly by Indonesian troops.
(7)  1975 – November – After brief civil war, Fretilin (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor) declares East Timor independent.
Indonesian invasion
(8)1975 – December – Indonesia invades, using its fight against communism as a pretext. It annexes territory as its 27th province, a move not recognised by the UN.

Falintil members (1999 picture) Falintil guerrillas fought for independence into the late 1990s

Strong resistance to Indonesian rule followed by repression and famine in which 200,000 people are thought to have died.

(9) 1981 – Xanana Gusmao becomes leader of Falintil (Armed Forces of National Liberation of East Timor), the armed wing of Fretilin.

(10) 1991 – Santa Cruz cemetery massacre in which troops fire on mourners at a funeral in Dili of Fretilin supporter, killing more than 100 people.

(11) 1992 – Setback for the resistance as Gusmao is captured near Dili. In 1993 he is convicted of subversion and given a life sentence which is later reduced.

(12) 1993 – Groups of East Timorese enter foreign embassies in Jakarta over the next few years seeking political asylum.

(13) 1995 – 20th anniversary of the Indonesian invasion marked by protest by 112 East Timorese and sympathisers who enter Russian and Dutch embassies in Jakarta.

(14) 1996 – Acting Bishop of Dili, Carlos Belo, and resistance leader Jose Ramos-Horta jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize, raising international awareness of the East Timorese independence struggle.

(15) 1998 – Indonesian President Suharto resigns. Replaced by Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, who suggests territory may be given special status within Indonesia.

(16) 1998 – Indonesian President Suharto resigns. Replaced by Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, who suggests territory may be given special status within Indonesia.

(17) 1999 February-April- Gusmao moved from Jakarta prison to house arrest. In response to increasing violence by anti-independence activists, Gusmao orders guerrillas to resume independence struggle.

(18) 1999 May- Indonesia, Portugal sign agreement to allow East Timorese to vote on their future. Deal endorsed by UN.

(19) 1999 30 August- Almost 99% of 450,000-strong electorate votes in UN-organised referendum


1999 SeptemberResult of referendum shows 78% voters favoured independence.

Violence erupts as anti-independence militia helped by the Indonesian military resume campaign of terror, leaving up to 1,000 dead. A quarter of the population flees, mainly to West Timor. Martial law imposed. Gusmao freed.

Australian-led peacekeeping force arrives, gradually restores order. Many militia members flee to West Timor to avoid arrest. Indonesian parliament recognises outcome of referendum.

(21) 1999 October- Gusmao released. UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) established.

(22) 2001 July- East Timor, Australia sign memorandum of understanding over future revenues from oil, gas fields in Timor Sea under which East Timor would get 90% of revenues.


(23) 2002 20 May- Independence: VIP guests including former US president Bill Clinton and Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri join celebrations in Dili.

(24) 2006 January- East Timor, Australia sign a deal to divide billions of dollars in expected revenues from oil and gas deposits in the Timor Sea. Under the agreement, talks on a disputed maritime boundary are postponed.

Report on alleged atrocities during Indonesia’s 24-year rule is presented to the UN. It finds that the occupation was directly responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 East Timorese.

(25) 2006 May- Foreign troops arrive in Dili to try to restore order as clashes involving former soldiers, who were sacked in March, descend into wider factional violence as well as looting and arson. At least 25 people are killed and about 150,000 take refuge in makeshift camps.

(26) 2012 November – Hundreds of Australian soldiers pull out of East Timor, ending a six-year stabilisation mission.  [5]

East Timor:

The majority of the people in East Timor are Roman Catholics, intriduced by the Portuguese in the 1600.  From diocese statics, 749,000 people from the total of 792,000 population are Catholics. While the Portuguese brought Catholicism to East Timor by the 16th century, by the 1975 invasion of Indonesia, the majority (72%) of the population remained animist. They consist of a number of distinct ethnic groups, most of whom are of mixed Malayo-Polynesian and Melanesian/Papuan descent. We must also understand how Christianity was infused with animism.

Animistic beliefs and practices have also been recorded produced by anthropologists in the few existing ethnographies on East Timorese cultures (namely on the Viqueque Tetun, the Marobo Kemak, and the Aileu Mambai). Currently on-going ethnographic work on the Atsabe Kemak culture also uncovered the strong presence of animistic beliefs and practices that are frequently syncretized with Catholicism. Colonial history makes copious mention of animism in East Timor and a variety of practices were attributed to this belief system, such as those beliefs surrounding the concept of lulik (sacred places, objects, and persons). Sacred places in local cosmology are linked to associations with founding ancestors, the Creator God, and may include specific mountains, forests, rivers, and even caves. Sacred objects tend to be ancestral heirlooms, especially significant objects from oral history of interaction with Sky God, Mother Earth, or battles with the Lord of the Sea. Even heads of enemies taken are sacred due to the spiritual heat of the soul of the deceased; particularly the souls of those who perished in war, accident, or other unnatural death. Ancestral focused rituals are common and the most significant and elaborate for East Timorese are the funerary rites. Funerary rites are generally expensive due to the number of animals that need be sacrificed or given as part of the gift exchange cycle demanded by obligations of kinship and social relations. Among the Kemak ethnic group, the most elaborate part of the funerary rites are the secondary burials (leko-cicir lia, Kemak language) where a number of deceased relatives bones are dug up, cleaned, and reburied, while the soul of the deceased is guided in ritual chants (nele, Kemak language) by the clan’s sacred man (gase ubu, Kemak Language) to the village of the ancestors on Mount Ramelau. The ritual chants can last over 14 hours as the soul is guided through the origin places of the clan and the places of affinal groups, thus recounting the group’s oral history. This ritual has high costs in animal sacrifices, especially that of water buffalo. Other important East Timorese rituals focus on founding houses and their sacred ancestral objects (lulik). Such sacred houses (uma lulik) have an important role in maintaining traditional social structure and kinship relations. Indeed, after independence a number of such founding houses (uma lulik) that were destroyed in the 1999 post-election rampage were being rebuilt with great fervor in spite of the economic expenses of large-scale animal sacrifice. As a consequence of cultural diversity, there are at least three different styles of sacred houses (uma lulik) present in East Timor. The style of uma lulik that is a tall pile house is now also a national emblem.  Some agricultural rites that focus on the enhancement of fertility of the fields are sometimes still performed but in an attenuated and minimalist manner focusing on planting and harvest only, which local people tend to attribute to a post-colonial attrition and as a consequence of Catholic Church’s policies, attitudes, and anti-animistic actions. However, a late 1960s ethnography on the Kemak suggests that the agricultural cycle rites were performed in their entirety. Rituals tended to be categorized into two types those concerned with life-generation and continuity, and those concerned with death and discontinuity. The specific metaphors and idioms used vary from culture group to culture group. The traditional ritual leaders sometimes coincide with traditional political leaders but nowadays also with Catholic catechists, former war leaders, and current administrative heads.
Atsabe Kemak understanding and attitudes towards what is ‘sacred’ in Catholicism is informed by and indigenized through local cultural beliefs about luli (Kemak). While much of the literature has glossed lulik (Tetun) as magic, this is a grievous misinterpretation and mistranslation. Potent spiritual force or power associated with certain places, objects or persons is a more accurate gloss for luli. Thus, Kemak Catholics view church buildings, cemeteries and personages and objects associated with these places as sacred. Thus, clergy are sacred due to the spiritual potency associated with them, much like the traditional sacred men of the clan or village. The cross and statues of various saints, Jesus, and especially of Mary, are also imbued with spiritual potency and thus are luli. The Virgin Mary is a special focus of local Catholic veneration.  The Mary statue is not only venerated in a similar manner to ancestral objects of luli but is given prominence in many village churches in terms of placement, and regular flower and candle offerings. In most rural areas, outside of settlements, one finds grottos carved out of hill or mountain sides beside the road with a Mary statue that is believed to provide protection (much the same way as certain ancestral spirits) for those who seek it while travelling within the territorial boundaries of the village or municipality.
       Aspects of local Atsabe Kemak belief and ritual systems: As mentioned above, one of the most important rituals for the indigenous cultures concerns the complex cycle of funerary ceremonies (tau tana mate). Funerary ceremonies are the most significant in the Kemak ritual system with large-scale animal sacrifices, and are classified as black rituals, metama no. The three main phases of funerary rites include huku bou, leko-cicir lia, and koli nughu. Brigitte Renard-Clamagirand (1982:143-4), in her ethnography, Marobo: Une Société Ema de Timor, refers to this as taka no lia among the Marobo Kemak with several slight variations in the ritual process. According to Elizabeth G. Traube (1986:200), (Cosmology and Social Life: Ritual Exchange among the Mambai of East Timor), the Mambai also classify funerals as ‘black rituals’. Secondary funerary rituals are also present among the Mambai, (maet-keon) although there does not seem to be an actual exhumation and reburial of the remains.

Amongst the Atsabe Kemak, huku bou is the primary internment of the deceased that requires the sacrifice of at least five buffaloes as well as complementary amounts of goats and pigs. Leko-cicir lia is the secondary treatment rite that is the most economically taxing ritual among all rituals of the Atsabe Kemak. Funerary practices are also one of two types of ceremonies that focus on the maintenance of relations with ancestors and on the continuous ritual restructuring of society and the renewal of social relations between the living and the dead as well as between marriage alliance partners.[2] The ai mea wife-giver and wife-taker houses have a central role in large-scale rituals, such as funerary ceremonies, and rituals cannot commence until they all are present. Ai mea are the houses that are the original and first wife-giving and wife-taking house to the house(s) that is holding the funerary rites for their deceased member(s). The attendance and participation of all the other bei-bei (regular) wife-giving and wife-taking houses is also a strict social requirement. The sacrificial animals provided by the ai mea are the animals whose blood is utilized in smearing ritual objects (such as the grave in funerals). Furthermore, funerals, like all large-scale rituals, must be attended by all the branch houses of the origin house sponsoring the ceremonies (including all the wife-giving and wife-taking house of all the branch houses) as well as those groups/houses that are in a ka’ara-aliri (elder-younger) or sibling/friend-ally relationship to the hosting group. Through the death rituals the most important alliances across the generations are confirmed, through the fulfilment of duties via material contributions, exchanges of goods, and the ‘blessing’ of all the wife-givers of the group whose deceased are honored by such funerary ceremonies. Indeed the role of wife-givers is part of a larger circulation of sacred power (luli) that enhances and contributes to the continuity of life. This circulation also derives from the ancestors and the deceased who will be transformed into ancestors through these rituals. In funerary rituals the contribution of sacrificial animals, in terms of amount and kind of animals, is directly related to the nature of social relationships, and the order of sacrifice itself reflects the hierarchical order of precedence in Atsabe social organization.

As pointed out above, an important characteristic of Atsabe Kemak death rituals is an elaborate secondary treatment of the dead (which in the past also required the taking of heads). This rite is held for a group of deceased relatives (regardless of rank or social status). These secondary rites are especially a grand-scale for local dignitaries, such as a group’s sacred men (individuals who are believed to possess concentrated and powerful luli, or spiritual potency), the heads of source houses and their family as well as rati, nai, dato (lesser chiefs and leaders of the domain), the traditional ritual leaders and koronel bote (the ruler of the kingdom). For such prominent figures of power and authority of the kingdom this leko-cicir lia ritual is performed for an individual deceased. The timing of the ceremony is usually before the planting season of dry fields (August-September), thus it is also linked with securing ancestral blessing for the success of the upcoming planting season. This secondary treatment not only concerns the physical remains, but more importantly the soul of the dead that are transformed into ancestors. In the local belief system, if the secondary rites have not yet been performed the soul of the deceased is said to stay near the house and village (asi naba coa pu). The longer the leko-cicir lia is delayed, it is believed that the soul of the deceased becomes ever lonelier for companionship, and thus calls the souls of the living to him. So a number of deaths close together in the same family are a sign that the leko must be performed and the souls must be transformed into ancestors and transferred to the ancestral villages. This ceremony, however, usually takes place several years after the first interment as it takes a long time to accumulate the economic means demanded by this rite (e.g. for animal sacrifice, cost of feast, grave construction, payment to the sacred man of the group, gase ubu, who performs the Toli rite, that transforms the soul of the deceased into an ancestor and guides him to the ancestral village). The closing of the Leko ceremony involves taking the cut-off genitals of all sacrificed animals (the means of creation and procreation) into the depth of the sacred forest, ai lara hui, and placing these out of sight at Bia Mata Ai Pun (the source of the spring and trees) and asking the ancestors to replenish (return) the animals that were sacrificed in the transferring of the souls of the deceased to the ancestors. This request is performed through a chant while handling the Loi Ana sacred beads.  In secondary mortuary rites for a ruler, social relations and alliances in an entire kingdom (or now the current administrative units that were part of the former kingdom) become reconfirmed with the fulfilment of ritual obligations and participation. [6]

West Papua – timeline

West Papua is the western half of New Guinea, like Tasmania it was separated from the Australian mainland around 5,000BC. But over 40,000 years ago Australia was settled by people of dark skin and fuzzy hair; the indigenous people of Papua are Melanesian (black islanders of Pacific), farmers and traders who long ago developed hundreds of languages and joyfull cultures which had been stable and satisfied the people’s needs for thousands of years.

(1)  40,000 BC The ancestors of indigenous Australians and other Melanesian people settle in Australia and New Guinea.

(2)  1848 Netherlands claims Western half of Papua. No exploration is done but in 1860s peaceful Dutch Missionaries arrive and teach western sciences to Papuans who tell others across West New Guinea.

(3)  1895 Europeans agree on dividing the unexplored island, Netherlands claimed West New Guinea, Germany claimed North Eastern New Guinea, and Britain claimed South Eastern Papua.
Germany sends a ship to establish a trading post, then the Netherlands announces it will build a Capital city called Hollandia next to the German border.

(4)  1935 Standard Oil companies (Mobil/Chevron) buy 60% of Dutch (NNGPM) company through which it sends geologist in search of mineral wealth.

(5)1936 Dozy discovers world’s richest gold and copper deposits in sacred homeland mountains of the Amungme people and names it “Ertsberg” (Mountain of Ore; Standard Oil keeps Ertsberg secret from government.
1949 In New York & Washington two members of Javanese elite offer colonial ease of access to “wealth of Asia” to Ford Foundation and Standard Oil executives if a Javanese central government is in control of the ‘East Indies’.
1949 December – United Nations and world recognise United States of Indonesia federation of 16 equal States.
1950 – Sukarno and his Republic of Indonesia military in Java force the 15 other Island nations into his Republic and in July he declares himself President of Indonesia; the United Nations remains silent about this Republic take-over of the federation.

(6)  1950s Netherlands works with West Papuans to establish modern social services towards independence under United Nations guidelines, Papuans begin to replace Dutch technicans and officials.

(7)  1957 Australia & Netherlands make this Joint Statement to promote “the interests and inalienable rights of the inhabitants” under the United Nations Charter.
West New Guinea continues with election of local representatives and developing technical skills.

(8)  1960 UN Sec. General Dag Hammarskjold tells New York Economic Club that he is in favor of West New Guinea’s independence, and that in his view neither the Netherlands nor Indonesia had any rights to this Pacific island.

(9)  1961 West New Guinea elects national Parliament which takes office in April 1961 and selects new title of “West Papua” for nation, new “Morning Star” flag, and anthem.

(10) 1961 December 1st, West Papua raises Morning Star flag next to the Dutch.

(11) 2/Dec/1961 Indonesia creates Mandala Command headed by Brig. General Suharto to implement military attacks instead of insurgency infilterations.
1962 January, after failed naval attack West Papua requests UN to return 52 Indonesian sailors to Java.
1962 inside U.S. Whitehouse McGeorge Bundy, Robert Komer, and Walt Rostow work to convince President Kennedy that he must violate international conventions by writing a contract to transfer West Papua’s administration to Indonesia.
1962 – United States government decides to force Netherlands to sign the New York Agreement transferring West Papua to Indonesia without Papuan consent.
1962 Robert Kennedy secretly negotiates transfer of West Papua to Indonesia without Papuan permission at United Nations in New York, the three way contract is now commonly known as the New York Argeement. Although Indonesia by signing this contract agreed to allow all men and women to vote in an act of self-determination, it has never done so.

(12) 1/Oct/1962 United Nations becomes a colonial power owning the people of West New Guinea, creating the UNTEA to rule the territory and denying the people permission to protest the colonization of their lands by the United Nations and Republic of Indonesia.
1/May/1962 UN uses its option under the New York Agreement to transfer the people and lands of West New Guinea to Indonesian control.

(13) 1965 West Papuan people horrified by brutal abuse by Indonesian military and the disappearance of many leaders, create OPM (Organisation Papua Freedom) movement to corrdinate their political efforts to regain independence and freedom from Indonesia.

(14) Indonesia declares OPM organisation guilty of treason and all supporters as rebels.
1967 Indonesia sell 30 year mining license of West Papua to Freeport
1969 Indonesian General Sarwo implements ‘Act of Free Choice’ by selecting 1025 men who are told they and their villages will be killed unless they vote against independence.
1969 UN representative Bolivia Ambassador Ortiz-Sanz says “the world has a moral responsibility to the Irianese [West Papuan] people”
“It is the duty of the United Nations, the industrialized countries and everybody else to consider with seriousness, generosity and urgency that something MUST be done to give the wonderful Irianese [West Papuan] people at least the essential benefits of our so-called civilized world. It is a shame for all of us that these people have been forgotten.”

1969, The United Nations in Resolution 2504 evades giving its opinion about whether Indonesia complied with Resolution 1541 or the New York Agreement by instead stating that Indonesia and the Netherlands ‘recognized’ the results.
However, it ignored the West Papuan cries for justice, self-determination rights, and an end to Indonesian abuses while the US company destroyed their homelands and robbed them of their national resources. [7]


The facts speak for themselves. A total betrayal of the Papuan peoples by all interested parties inclulding the United Nations.

Indonesian Chinese[8]

The first recorded movement of people from China into Maritime Southeast Asia was the arrival of Mongol forces under Kublai Khan that culminated in the invasion of Java in 1293. The Mongols introduced Chinese technologies to the island, including shipbuilding and coinage. Their intervention hastened the decline of the classical kingdoms such as Singhasari and precipitated the rise of the Majapahit empire. Some Chinese and Portuguese sources indicate that Chinese traders were the first to arrive on Ternate and Tidore in the Maluku Islands to buy cloves, but they were later driven out by Javanese traders as Majapahit expanded.

Chinese Muslim traders from the eastern coast of China arrived at the coastal towns of Indonesia and Malaysia in the early 15th century. They were led by the mariner Zheng He, who commanded several expeditions to southeastern Asia between 1405 and 1430.

These traders settled along the northern coast of Java, but there is no documentation of their settlements beyond the 16th century. The Chinese Muslims were likely to have been absorbed into the majority Muslim population. Between 1450 and 1520, the Ming Dynasty’s interest in southeastern Asia reached a low point and trade, both legal and illegal, rarely reached the archipelago. The Portuguese made no mention of any resident Chinese minority population when they arrived in Indonesia in the early 16th century. Trade from the north was re-established when China legalized private trade in 1567 through licensing 50 junks a year. Several years later silver began flowing into the region, from Japan, Mexico, and Europe, and trade flourished once again. Distinct Chinese colonies emerged in hundreds of ports throughout southeastern Asia, including the pepper port of Banten.


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