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Indonesia: Snuggling To Manage Provincial Tension
Indonesia: More Unrest Anticipated In Jakarta
Contacts of US diplomats expect student activists who staged violent protests last week against Indonesia's new state security law to mount more demonstrations this week,
le authorities arc bracing for trouble. Members of several suiueui
*anizauons yestcraayeaceful march commemorating students killed in the protests to reiterate their demand that the bill be rejected, not merely deferred, according to local press reports.
Jakarta's police chief yesterday asserted that groups behind the demonstrations are plarwing to stage mass protests when the People's Consultative Assembly convenes on Friday,]
To Manage Provincial Tcrnstoal
Govemmeni mishandling of the East Timor issue is raising doubts in Indonesia about Jakarta's longstanding reliance on military intimidation to squelch provincial discontent. While most Indonesians feel little common cause with Bast Timorese, an increasingly politicized publicore open media will challenge the central govemmeni'8 dominance and the military's hardnosed reaction to public protest.
Large studentby public suspicion that new national security legislation would embolden thereturned to Jakarta for the first time in moreear.
Old Tactics Faffing
The Hast Timor debacle, an inadequate response to demands for provincial autonomy, and the overrcacuon of security forces to the student protests thai hastened fonneiiuster have oiscrcJ::cd President Habibie and cbcpillars of the guvennag arrangement. Nevertheless, (be central govemmeni is unable or unwilling to end its traditional dependence on military intimidation to preserve national cohesion.
The military, which has used violence to suppress separatist movements, appears poised to use the same methods in areas such as Aceh and Irian Jaya, where activists now are pressing for self-determination.
These tactics have become less effective since Soeoarto's rail and may be fueling disintegration by reducing the room for civilians to work out solutions!
Old Problems Worsening
Even if the government stopped relying on the military to suppress separatism. Jakarta would continue to face tension because of ethnic and religious diversity. Moreover, the continuing ccoconiic crisis and the squabbling among political elites over the coming session of the People's Consultative Assembly is reinforcing perceptions srormd tbe archipelago that the capital ts out of touch with outer provinces.
The adrnirnstration's failure to follow through quickly oo earlier promises to decentralize government authority and to allow outer provinces toreater proportion of the royalties from their oa rural resources has compounded its troubles.
presidential candidates have not specified how they would address thesefurther indication that regional grievances will remain contentious. I
The devolution of power from Jakarta to the periphery is inevitable, but Jakarta's ability to manage the change and avoid disintegration will hinge in large part on how well the new government can meet the difficult challenge of orchestrating economic recovery. Economic growth historically has dampened center-periphery tension and would enable Jakarta to direct more resources to the outer provinces J
Organization of the Nationalthe Timorese Resistance]
Nttkmal Political Commisaon
President Jose "Xanana" Guimao Vice President Jose- Ramoe-Harta (five addanonal Vice PreadcnB)
Vice Presidew Jose Ramos-Horla
i: il ill
trl culture Departmeat
The National Council Tot the Timorese RemtaiKe (CNRD-lcd by lose "Xanana"n umbrella organiiauon farmed law year lo unite East Timor'* fragmented reiutanceusmao will rdy on the CNRTiCouncil and several depaitmom toresence to fill the leadcnhip vacuum ia East Timor even before the UN formally take* over adrruniiuwion Ouamao and ihe CNRT also will be crucial in fabbyiof educurd Timorese entet to return to help build an independent East Timor and in bridging me
betweenho itared behind k> figKTV CNRT haslag, an anthem,harier thai could become ihe bamonmiutico
of Authority in East Timor
withdrawal of Indonesian troops leaves an administrative and security void in some areas outside the control of the International Force for East Timor (SNTERFET) that the militias temporarily could exploit.
INTERFET troops last week had to stop hungry refugees fromelief warehouse in Dili, and the lack of security forces in most areas continues to hinder food deliveries by relief
organizations, according to press reports[
Jakarta's lifting of martial law last week could encourage the militias and proindependence forces to step up operatioi.
now largelybegun patrolling between Dili and the border with West Timor as pro-Jakarta militias reenter East Timor from the west.
"Xanana" Gusmao and other proindependence leaders will press peacekeeping forces and relief organizations to stabilize the situation. Gusmao last week ruledovemment-in-exile and promised to work with the UN to organize elections once the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly reverses Jakarta's annexation of tbe territory.
Gusmao's office in Lisbon says he willelegation to Washington this week to seek World Bank acveloproent aid.
[and that he plans to outline publicly an economic development planroposed constitution for
East Timor.Original document.