Indonesia. There were riots all year around the country.
In May, more than 2,000 Islamic volunteers arrived in the
Moluccas for a "holy war" against Christians. The army was
criticized for not being able to curb the violence, and the
government introduced exceptional laws in the archipelago.
In January, thousands of Christians fled from the tourist
island of Lombok near Bali after being attacked by Muslim
extremists. Churches and residential buildings were burnt
In Aceh in northern Sumatra, at the beginning of the
year, the army intensified the fight against the Movement
for a Free Aceh (GAM, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka). At the same
time, however, 24 soldiers and one civilian were sentenced
to prison for between 8.5 and 10 years for a massacre in
1999. In May, the government and the GAM agreed on a
ceasefire, which would pave the way for continued
negotiations on the province's future. GAM demands full
independence for Aceh, while the government wanted to offer
increased autonomy only. The violence continued during the
ceasefire, and although this was later extended until 2001,
the population's demands for a UN-led referendum on
COUNTRYAAH, concerns also occurred in Irian Jaya in New Guinea, where
the Organization of a Free Papua (OPM, Organasi Papua
Merdeka) renewed the Declaration of Independence adopted as
early as 1961 during the Dutch colonial era.
Former ÖB general Wiranto left the government in May
after being suspended for three months due to suspicions
that he was responsible for the military overwhelm in East
Timor in 1999. Several other changes also took place in the
government, where most ministers responsible for the
country's economy was replaced. Abdurrahman Wahid was
criticized for weak leadership and left the daily government
work on Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri, but at the
same time dismissed most ministers from her party PDI-P and
the former Golkar government party.
Parliament adopted a constitutional amendment in August
that protects militants from being retroactively punished
for violating new human rights laws. The military was also
promised to retain its 38 seats in parliament until 2009.
Former dictator Suharto was charged with embezzlement of
more than SEK 5.5 billion. of state funds. The charge was
initially dropped by a district court with reference to his
faltering physical and mental health, but a higher court
decided in November that a trial should be dropped.
The president's son, Hutomo Mandala Putra, called Tommy,
was sentenced to 18 months in prison for corruption, but
disappeared and wanted internationally. Several bomb attacks
shook official buildings in Jakarta in connection with legal
action against the Suharto family. In an attack on the stock
exchange building, 15 people were killed.
In the draft state budget for 2001, the government
allocated a quarter of the expenditure on development
projects in the provinces in the hope that, among other
things, to curb separatist violence. The International
Monetary Fund described the budget as "sensible", but the
decision to reduce fuel subsidies, which are expected to
raise oil prices by 20%, triggered strong anger among the