Indonesia Update: Transition and its Discontents, July - November 1998
|Author||John T. Sidel|
|Publication Date||1 December 1998|
|Cite as||WRITENET, Indonesia Update: Transition and its Discontents, July - November 1998 , 1 December 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a6b70.html [accessed 30 August 2015]|
|Comments||This issue paper was prepared by WRITENET on the basis of publicly available information, analysis and comment. All sources are cited. This paper is not, and does not purport to be, either exhaustive with regard to conditions in the country surveyed, or conclusive as to the merits of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and are not necessarily those of WRITENET or UNHCR. WRITENET is a network of researchers and writers on human rights, forced migration, ethnic and political conflict. WRITENET is a subsidiary of Practical Management (UK)|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Over the course of the past five months, the process of political transition in Indonesia has intensified, with certain patterns and trends crystallizing in the mid-November session of the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat - MPR), student-led popular protests, and a wave of violence in Jakarta and elsewhere in the country. Despite its considerable difficulties in solving the country's mounting economic problems, the Habibie administration has succeeded in consolidating its power, by constructing a working alliance between senior military officers, Islamic activists, elements of the state machinery, and the government political party, Golkar (Golongan Karya - Functional Groups).
With a national election promised for mid-1999, opposition leaders have begun to organize new political parties, and to build new alliances, with a mobilized "civil society" - in the campuses, the press, and a broad range of groups and associations - suggesting widespread popular support for an unprecedented challenge to Golkar. In anticipation of such a challenge, the Habibie administration and its allies have initiated a broad-based campaign to circumscribe oppositional activities, using legal restrictions, behind-the-scenes political interventions, and a potent mixture of cooptation and harassment, intimidation, and violence.
Against the backdrop of these political trends and the dramatic contraction of the Indonesian economy, recent months have seen sporadic rioting, looting, and other incidents targeted against ethnic-Chinese and/or Christian Indonesians. A combination of deep-seated resentments among the Moslem majority, increasing economic hardships, and incitement by certain elements in the Habibie camp has created a climate of uncertainty and insecurity for many members of Indonesia's small and vulnerable ethnic-Chinese and Christian minorities. In the months ahead, the approach of the mid-1999 national elections is certain to bring more crowds to the streets and to occasion sporadic attacks on Chinese shops and residences and Christian houses of worship. Yet, as stressed in the previous reports, no wholesale anti-Chinese/Christian campaign is in the offing, and no mass exodus of refugees is likely in the foreseeable future.
2. REGIME CONSOLIDATION
The past five months have witnessed the consolidation of power by President B.J. Habibie and his allies. Upon his ascendancy to the presidency in late May 1998, Habibie had reshuffled the Cabinet appointed by Suharto just two months earlier. While some ministers retained their portfolios, most notably Coordinating Minister for the Economy Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs, (retired) General Feisal Tanjung, and Minister of Defence/Armed Forces Commander General Wiranto, other ministers close to Suharto and his family were replaced with Habibie allies. Several Cabinet posts were assumed by high-ranking military officers with links to Habibie and established Islamic credentials, most notably the Minister of Home Affairs, Lieutenant-General Syarwan Hamid, and the Minister of Information, Lieutenant-General Yunus Yosfiah (now also known as Mohammad Yunus). Prominent civilian allies were drawn from among protégés whom Habibie had mentored in his various capacities as Minister for Research and Technology, head of ICMI (Ikatan Cendekiawan Muslim Indonesia - the Association of Indonesian Moslem Intellectuals), and member of Golkar's governing board, most notably State Secretary Akbar Tanjung and Minister for Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Adi Sasono.
Within the military establishment, moreover, General Wiranto, the Minister of Defence and Armed Forces Commander, likewise appeared to have consolidated his authority.Suharto's son-in-law, Lieutenant-General Prabowo Subianto, long known for his acts of insubordination, independence from the formal chain of command, and anti-Wiranto intrigues, was unceremoniously removed from his post as Commander of Kostrad (Strategic Army Reserve Command), the main Jakarta garrison, in late May. Close Prabowo ally Major-General Muchdi was simultaneously ousted from his post as Commander of Special Forces (Kopassus), and by late June Jakarta Regional Commander Major-General Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin, reportedly Prabowo's closest associate in the Armed Forces, was replaced by a Wiranto man. Finally, in July, a military tribunal held Prabowo accountable for the much-publicized abduction and torture of several opposition and student activists and discharged him from the Armed Forces. By the end of the summer, evidence that Prabowo and his allies had instigated the violent anti-Chinese riots in mid-May in Jakarta also began to surface. His public disgrace complete, Prabowo left Indonesia, reportedly for a pilgrimage to Mecca and an indefinite period of residence abroad.
With Prabowo and his allies summarily sidelined and silenced, Wiranto thus emerged as the apparent military strongman of the Habibie administration, concurrently holding the positions of Defence Minister and Armed Forces Commander. Indeed, within the Armed Forces, he enjoys considerable support from close allies in key command posts in Jakarta and the regions, as well as high-ranking staff members like Lieutenant-General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Chief of Staff for Social and Political Affairs (Kassospol), who is now rumoured to be in line for the key post of Army Chief of Staff (Kasad).Thanks to his opposition to Prabowo and his reputation for professional integrity, Wiranto has been said to command broad support within the Armed Forces and among certain sections of the population as well. Yet over the past five months, General Wiranto and other high-ranking military officers have proven far more acquiescent to President Habibie and his civilian allies than previously foreseen. Many analysts had long detected bitter opposition to Habibie from within the military establishment prior to his elevation to the vice-presidency in March 1998 and to the presidency in May 1998, and some commentators predicted either a military coup d'état against Habibie or the de facto assertion of military autonomy and policy preferences in an uneasy duumvirate with a weak and pliable Habibie. Yet the liberalization of political expression and activity and the resulting revelations in recent months of various military atrocities have highlighted popular resentments against the Armed Forces and increased popular pressures for a reduction - or elimination - of the military's influence in Indonesian politics. Moreover, close Habibie allies and cabinet ministers like (retired) General Feisal Tanjung (who served as Armed Forces Commander in 1993-1998) still wield sufficient influence within the ranks of the military establishment to limit or counter the preeminence enjoyed by Wiranto. Finally, the long-standing practice of retirement for military officers at the age of 55 guarantees that Wiranto's tenure as Armed Forces Commander will not be indefinite, and that new generations of more junior officers will continue to rise through the ranks and be promoted to the top posts long after Wiranto's - if not necessarily Habibie's - era is over.
Against this backdrop, the past five months have seen Habibie and his allies succeed in consolidating their hold over the core institutions of the Indonesian state. In early July, Habibie's State Secretary, Akbar Tanjung, was named as the new head of Golkar, the government political party, with Wiranto mobilizing regional army commanders in the party's ruling bodies against a challenge from a group of prominent retired Army officers. With Suharto loyalists purged from the list of Golkar delegates and replaced with more pliable Habibie allies, a Special Session of the MPR was convened in mid-November and reaffirmed the authority of the Habibie administration, refrained from naming a vice-president, and issued vague resolutions in support of "reform" as well as a promise of national elections in mid-1999. On Habibie's instructions, Wiranto mobilized a force of 30,000 troops and civilian supporters, to provide "security" to the MPR and counter popular protests against the regime. With a new cabinet and Golkar leadership installed, the parliament and MPR in full support, and the Armed Forces leadership seemingly subordinated to his authority, President Habibie has secured a position of considerable strength from which to rule until the elections in mid-1999, or perhaps even beyond.
3. OPPOSITION AND REPRESSION
This process of regime consolidation worked to exclude and to alienate a broad variety of social groups and networks which had mobilized in the months leading to Suharto's resignation in May. Encouraged by the liberalization of press and political activity and by the unprecedented opportunity for both protest action and policy change, student activists, opposition party politicians, Islamic leaders, and retired officers have organized their forces and mounted various challenges to the new Habibie regime. Yet their efforts have so far been largely foiled by a mixture of cooptation and repression by the Government and its allies.
As noted above, in early July a cluster of prominent retired military officers led by former defence minister, (retired) General Edy Sudrajat, and former vice-president, (retired) General Try Sutrisno, had attempted to seize control over Golkar. When this was prevented by Habibie and Wiranto and Akbar Tanjung had been installed as the new Golkar chief, these retired officers shifted their energies elsewhere. Subsequent months saw the inclusion of high-ranking retired officers as prominent participants in ceremonies marking the birth or reconvening of various political parties opposed to the Habibie government and organized to contest the upcoming 1999 elections.
Indeed, the period stretching from July through November 1998 saw the mobilization of key political networks into fully constituted political parties. Amien Rais, leader of the important modernist Islamic association Muhammadiyah and a prominent anti-Suharto protest figure, founded the Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN or National Mandate Party) together with a number of prominent urban intellectuals. Megawati Soekarnoputri, daughter of former president Soekarno and leader of one wing of the Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (PDI), held a party congress in the autumn that was well attended by supporters, party activists, and political luminaries alike. New members of the PDI ruling board included a brother of Abdurrahman Wahid, head of the 30-million-strong traditionalist Islamic association Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and a long-time Megawati supporter, as well as several retired generals. Meanwhile, other NU activists founded the Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB or Resurgence of the Nation Party), also with Wahid's blessings. Countless other new parties also emerged, ranging from the anti-Habibie Barisan Nasional (National Front), led by retired military officers, to the pro-Habibie Partai Bulan Bintang (PBB or Moon and Star Party), headed by activists from militant Islamic groups like KISDI (Komite Indonesia untuk Solidaritas Dunia Islam - Indonesian Committee for Solidarity with World Islam) and Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia.
While such politicians and party activists confined themselves to organizing efforts and public proclamations, student groups and prominent civic figures launched well-publicized lobbying activities and demonstrations against the Habibie government. As with the sporadic local protests that rallied Indonesians to the streets in countless towns and cities throughout the archipelago, this mobilization voiced popular anger against repression and human rights abuses by the military, as well as corruption, nepotism, and religious sectarianism by civilian authorities. As suggested by former president Suharto's apparent immunity from serious investigation and prosecution for abuse of power and accumulation of vast ill-gotten wealth, the Habibie government did not appear committed to genuine Reformasi.
In mid-November, this popular resentment against the new regime crystallized in student-led protests against Habibie's convening of the largely appointed MPR in mid-November in Jakarta. As noted above, some 30,000 military troops and thuggish civilian recruits organized - reportedly by pro-Habibie Islamic groups - as Pam Swakarsa, faced tens of thousands of students and other Jakarta residents in the streets of the nation's capital. These protesters condemned the MPR as an illegitimate body, demanded reforms such as the prosecution of Suharto and the elimination of military seats in the MPR and the parliament, and called upon opposition leaders such as Amien Rais, Abdurrahman Wahid, and Megawati Soekarnoputri to form a praesidium and replace Habibie as a transitional leadership team. In the event, Habibie and the MPR rejected these demands and the opposition leaders demurred, issuing instead a joint declaration in support of a gradual reduction of the military's role in politics, other reforms, and the holding of free and fair elections (monitored by independent observers) in mid-1999. Meanwhile, in the streets, troops and the Pam Swakarsa "volunteers" violently attacked the students, leaving several dead and dozens injured.In addition to these casualties, the end of the MPR session left other unfortunate legacies. A group of opposition leaders, led by retired generals associated with the strongly anti-Habibie Barisan Nasional, had issued a joint communiqué declaring the MPR session illegitimate and calling for a new MPR to be convened and a praesidium to be formed to lead the country on a temporary basis. On Habibie's orders, some of the signatories to this communiqué were detained and interrogated by the police, and legal proceedings were initiated against them. Meanwhile, scattered and small-scale looting and rioting in parts of Jakarta had followed the killings of students on 13 November, and two weeks later a violent confrontation - reportedly between Moslems and Christians - in one neighbourhood in the national capital led to over a dozen deaths and the burning of several churches and numerous business establishments. Subsequent accounts suggested that the incident had been instigated by militant Islamic groups associated with the Habibie government and involved in the recruitment of the Pam Swakarsagroups for the MPR session. Against the backdrop of popular demands for the dismissal of Armed Forces Commander and Defence Minister General Wiranto, Habibie and his allies now appear fully entrenched and emboldened to mount a broad campaign of intimidation against perceived enemies.
4. CLEAVAGES AND CONFLICTS: THE MONTHS AHEAD
With elections now scheduled for early June 1999, the next six months are likely to see continued, if not mounting, tensions between the entrenched Habibie government and its allies on the one hand, and a broad range of oppositional groups on the other. As events in the past five months have suggested, this pattern of political cleavage and competition is certain to prolong the current climate of heightened uncertainty and insecurity for many Indonesians, especially the small ethnic-Chinese and Christian minorities. Under these circumstances, and in the context of a severe economic crisis that has only deepened in the course of this year, sporadic episodes of violence, rioting, and looting are to be expected in the upcoming first six months of 1999.
As noted above, Habibie and a cluster of his protégés have consolidated their hold over Golkar and the parliament, and, through the influence of high-ranking pro-Habibie officers (both active and retired), extended their influence into the military establishment. Habibie and his minions, it is clear, intend to use Golkar as the Government's political machine in the June 1999 elections, using the same resources (support from bureaucrats and politically connected businessmen) and tactics (patronage, vote-buying, intimidation, and fraud) relied upon in every Suharto-era election since 1971. A strong showing for Golkar, it is hoped, will combine with the large number of military and civilian appointees in the post-election MPR session scheduled to "elect" a president and vice-president in September 1999.
Yet with some key national-level Golkar figures defecting to other parties and the strength of local Golkar branches in doubt, Habibie has also maintained close ties with Islamic activists and groups who have established bases in other political parties, with an eye towards alliance-building for next year's elections. Most noteworthy in this regard are the KISDI and Dewan Dakwah activists who have created the Partai Bulan Bintang, as well as pro-Habibie forces in the Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP or United Development Party), the Suharto-era party created by the Government in the 1970s to amalgamate (and domesticate) a broad range of Islamic groupings. Even Muhammadiyahleader Amien Rais, who played a prominent role in the anti-Suharto protests of last spring, has maintained an ambiguous relationship with the current regime, and his Partai Amanat Nasional(National Mandate Party) might also be available for post-election coalition-building. Amien Rais, after all, has long been active in ICMI, enjoys warm relations with some of Habibie's associates, and, as head of Muhammadiyah, draws support from urban middle-class modernist Moslems around the country, the same social base claimed by the Habibie regime.
In other words, the approaching election campaign is likely to witness a pattern of mobilization of pro-Habibie forces inside and outside Golkar. Pro-Habibie activists affiliated with ICMI and with militant Islamic groups like KISDI and Dewan Dakwah will receive encouragement and perhaps more tangible forms of support from elements in the Government, and even Amien Rais might be tempted into a loose alliance. This pattern of mobilization will thus likely see the crystallization of a modernist Moslem bloc, based on state patronage, Golkar networks, and the associational base of the Moslem parties, Muhammadiyah, and other key Islamic groups.
Against this modernist Moslem bloc are arrayed a wide range of other parties. Most importantly, perhaps, Megawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of Soekarno, Indonesia's first president, still claims control over one wing of the Partai Demokrasi Indonesia and enjoys tremendous popular support among students, urban poor, secular nationalists, non-Moslems, and other sectors of the population at large. In addition, she has gained the backing of several prominent retired generals and, crucially, Abdurrahman Wahid, the head of the thirty-million-strong traditionalist Islamic association Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). While NU activists have founded the Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB or Renewal of the Nation Party) and NU members are active in the PPP leadership as well, Wahid has long promoted linkages between NU and secular and Christian forces in Indonesian politics, and to this end he has long backed Megawati's political career. Both retired military officers and former Golkar politicians have likewise appeared available for a broad-based alliance with Megawati, as has the Sultan Hamengku Buwono X of Yogyakarta, who is widely popular in Central Java and among a broad array of Indonesians. Given a strong organizational base in Nahdlatul Ulama, broad popular support, and, through retired military officers, a measure of acceptability to the Armed Forces, this bloc of opposititional forces carries the promise of a serious challenge to the cluster of Islamic activists, Golkar politicians, and other entrenched interests grouped around President Habibie.
It is against this backdrop of worsening economic conditions and deepening political cleavages that a climate of fear and episodes of violence are to be expected in the pre-election months ahead. In particular, there is considerable evidence that the Government and its allies have begun to wage a campaign of harassment and intimidation against various elements of the broad opposition that is mobilized in support of political change. In addition, there is reason to believe that the Islamicist affiliations and anti-Christian/Chinese proclivities of some groups allied with Habibie may encourage a more sustained pattern of sectarian violence than foreseen in previous reports.
Indeed, the previous months have seen the onset of the Habibie government's campaign to harass and intimidate the opposition. Already in the late months of the summer, reports surfaced of mysterious killings of religious leaders and other residents in several towns in East Java known to be bases for Abdurrahman Wahid's Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). As the number of victims reached well over one hundred, well-publicized rumours and speculations as to the culprits soon multiplied, with ex-president Suharto and his malevolent son-in-law Prabowo, now discharged from the Army, among the alleged masterminds. But Wahid himself stated somewhat cryptically that a certain Cabinet minister was responsible, and a subsequent investigation by a team of NU activists in East Java claimed that local government officials had also played a role. Rumours of similar killings in other parts of Java and elsewhere in Indonesia have recurred in recent months, exacerbating an already heightened climate of tension and fear.
In addition, the Special Session of the MPR in mid-November of this year provided the occasion for government attacks on critics based in Jakarta. As noted above, some 30,000 military troops and armed thugs recruited by pro-Habibie Islamic groups mobilized to "protect" the MPR and used considerable violence against student demonstrators in the streets. Subsequent weeks have seen the detention and interrogation of several opposition activists from the Barisan Nasional as well as the abduction of student leaders - most notably the head of an NU-affiliated student group in Bogor. A pattern of official and unofficial harassment and intimidation is likely to continue in the months ahead, as the Government and its allies strive to keep both opposition party politicians and student activists on the defensive.
Meanwhile, the Habibie government's encouragement of certain militant Islamic groups appears to have emboldened them to take a more stridently anti-Christian and anti-Chinese stance. Over the course of the summer, human rights activists' documentation of the instigation of the mid-May riots in Jakarta and the mass rapes of ethnic-Chinese women had met with government denials, threats and intimidation, and the murder of one interviewer and counsellor of rape victims. Groups like KISDI and Dewan Dakwah, moreover, issued statements that blamed both the riots and those investigating them for discrediting Indonesian Moslems and made claims that the real masterminds had been Indonesian Catholics and ethnic Chinese. It was through such groups and through ICMI, moreover, that the "security volunteers" known as Pam Swakarsawere hired to "protect" the MPR session in mid-November, and there is ample reason to believe that the violence between Moslems and Christians in the Ketapang area of Jakarta in late November was initiated by a like-minded, and perhaps loosely affiliated, Islamic group. Subsequent violence in Kupang, West Timor, between Christians and Moslems suggests that this pattern of sectarian conflict may well increase in the months to come.
5. CONCLUSIONS: TRANSITION AND ITS DISCONTENTS
The past five months have seen a process of successful internal consolidation by the Habibie government and the formation of a working alliance between Habibie, Golkar politicians, military officers, and a cluster of Islamic groups such as ICMI, KISDI, and Dewan Dakwah. This regime consolidation has come at the expense of a broader array of forces mobilized in support of political change, and spanning a wide spectrum of social classes, religious faiths, and ethnic groups. This cleavage is certain to be central to political conflict and social upheaval in the months to come, especially in the context of the national elections scheduled for early June 1999.
To be sure, other problems and dynamics have contributed to the atmosphere of tension, uncertainty, and insecurity in Indonesia. The country is still experiencing a dramatic contraction of the economy, and the impact on millions of Indonesians has been devastating in terms of employment, purchasing power, diet, and health. On a local level, these circumstances have contributed to an upsurge in crime and resulted in a wave of land seizures and other forms of collective protest and appropriation. In several regions, moreover, perceptions of new opportunities for political change have encouraged renewed popular mobilization in support of independence or regional autonomy, most notably in the provinces of Aceh and Irian Jaya and the occupied territory of East Timor. This mobilization, the Government's occasionally violent backlash against it, as well as a continuing climate of uncertainty and fear have contributed to social dislocations in and from these areas, most notably in the flow of Indonesian transmigrants from East Timor. Yet the overriding dynamic that threatens to provoke further - and perhaps more severe - violence and upheaval in the months ahead is the pattern of political cleavage and conflict sketched above. The alliance between the Habibie administration and a cluster of modernist Islamic groups against a broad array of popular oppositional forces - traditionalist Islamic, secular, and Christian - has encouraged not only a wave of intimidation and harassment by the Government and its allies, but also a surge in sectarian enmity and strife. In the months ahead, as the Habibie regime works to mobilize support behind its election campaign, more sectarian violence between Moslems and Christians, more lootings of ethnic-Chinese-owned shops, and more burnings of Catholic and Protestant churches are to be expected. As for the social dislocations and potential refugee problems likely to ensue, it is too early to dismiss the alarmist and apocalyptic predictions of mass upheaval and exodus out of hand. It is to be hoped, however, that domestic and international forces who support peaceful political change in Indonesia maintain their vigilance - and mount their defences - against the threats of violence and terror that continue to haunt Indonesia's troubled transition to democracy.
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 This paper is an update to the author's previous WRITENET reports on Indonesia: Economic, Social and Political Dimensions of the Current Crisis (April 1998) and Crisis and Transition, Catastrophe and Progress(July 1998)
 Tempo [Jakarta], "Berharap pada Obat Kuat", 13-19 October 1998; Xpos[Jakarta], "Tak Ada Lagi Bank Sehat", 31 October - 6 November 1998; Kontan [Jakarta], "Menurut Survei Seratus Desa, Kualitas Hidup Menurun", 2 November 1998; Kontan, "Di Balik Data-Data Ekonomi", 23 November 1998; and Surabaya Post, "Deflasi Gagal Dipertahankan: Inflasi Kumulatif Sampai November 75, 14 Persen", 30 November 1998. See also: International Monetary Fund, Indonesia: Supplementary Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (Jakarta, 19 October 1998)
 On the controversial Minister Adi Sasono, for example, see: Prospek [Jakarta], "Wawancara Adi Sasono: Menteri Koperasi: Siapa Memihak rakyat?", 14 September 1998
 Adil [Jakarta], "Letjen Soeyono, Sekjen Dephankam: Pangab tak Bergantung pada Presiden", 12-18 August 1998
 On this series of events, see: D & R[Jakarta], "Antara Habibie, ABRI, dan Soeharto, 4 July 1998; D & R, "Mutasi Biasa ataukah De-prabowo-isasi", 4 July 1998; Adil[Jakarta], "Apa Kabar Prabowo", 4-10 November 1998; and Adil, "Sjafrie: Siapa Melindungi?", 4-10 November 1998
 General Wiranto abolished the Kassospol post in early-mid November and converted it to Chief of Staff for Territorial Affairs (Kepala Staf Teritorial or Kaster), with Lieutenant-General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono retained in this new post. On this symbolic reduction of the military's "social-political role" and the more meaningful termination of active status for military officers serving in non-military positions, with the notable exception of the DPR (DewanPerwakilan Rakyat - People's Representative Assembly) and MPR, see: Kompas [Jakarta], "Jabatan Kassospol Diubah: Terbuka, SI MPR Bahas Dwifungsi ABRI", 10 November 1998
 See: Detik [Jakarta], "Menguak Isu Pergantian Kasad", 30 October 1998; Adil[Jakarta], "Subagyo: Nasibmu?", 4-10 November 1998
 Ummat [Jakarta], "Keberanian Wiranto", 9 November 1998; Ummat, "Langkah dan Ambisi Wiranto", 9 November 1998
 Ummat [Jakarta], "Krisis Kepercayaan kepada ABRI", 12 October 1998; Far Eastern Economic Review [Hong Kong], J. McBeth, " An Army in Retreat", 19 November 1998
 Oposisi [Jakarta], "Ini Pertarungan Feisal v Wiranto", 28 October - 3 November 1998; Bali Post [Denpasar], "Ada Ketidakberesan antara Habibie, Wiranto dan Feisal Tanjung", 18 November 1998
 Tempo [Jakarta], "Apabila Panglima ABRI diganti", 6-12 October 1998
 D & R [Jakarta], "Hanya Memperkuat Posisi Habibie", 18 July 1998
 See, for example, Surya [Surabaya], "Hartono di-recall dari MPR", 2 July 1998; and SiaR News Service [Jakarta], "Habibie Gantikan Para Menteri di MPR dengan Orang-orangnya", 16 September 1998
 Forum Keadilan [Jakarta], "Sejumlah Ketetapan di Tengah Kegamangan", 16 November 1998
 Detik [Jakarta], "Polisi Kumpulkan Massa untuk Amankan SI", 2 November 1998;Kompas [Jakarta], "Banser NU Ditarik dari Pengamanan SI MPR", 7 November 1998; Forum Keadilan [Jakarta], "Mereka Bertarung Lagi di Luar Gelanggang", 16 November 1998; Ummat [Jakarta], "Nestapa Pam Swakarsa", 23 November 1998
 D & R [Jakarta], "Berkoalisi Menumbangkan Beringin", 22 August 1998; Bali Post[Denpasar], "Edi Sudradjat segera Tinggalkan Golkar", 19 November 1998
 Tempo [Jakarta], "Dari Sanur Menyeruduk Senayan", 13-19 October 1998
 See, for example, SiaR News Service [Jakarta], "Kelompok CIDES Harus Bertanggungjawab atas Terbunuhnya 6 Pam Swakarsa", 16 November 1998; and Detak [Jakarta], "Pam Swakarsa, Politik Uang, dan Kekerasan", 24-30 November 1998
 On this series of events, see: Ummat[Jakarta], "Catatan Tercecer Tragedi November", 23 November 1998; Gatra [Jakarta], "Mencari Pasukan Liar di Semanggi" and "Ada Pasukan Liar di Semanggi", 28 November 1998; Forum Keadilan [Jakarta], "Antara Kelompok Radikal, 'Sniper', dan Provokator", 29 November 1998
 Kompas [Jakarta], "Presiden: Saya Instruksikan Pangab untuk Bertindak", 15 November 1998; Kompas, "Ali, Kemal, Bintang dan Meliono 'Dijemput' Polisi", 16 November 1998; Suara Pembaruan[Jakarta], "Ali Sadikin: Tuduhan Makar, Fitnah!", 16 November 1998
 Detik [Jakarta], "7 Gereja dan 11 Mobil Dibakar", 23 November 1998; Detik, "Mayat-mayat Jadi 14 Orang", 23 November 1998; Jawa Pos [Surabaya], "Preman-Warga Bentrok, 6 Tewas", 23 November 1998; Kompas [Jakarta], "Kerusuhan di Jakarta; Enam Orang Tewas", 23 November 1998; Republika [Jakarta], "Bentrokan di Ketapang, Jakbar, 7 Tewas", 23 November 1998
 SiaR News Service [Jakarta], "Preman dan Warga Sinyalir ada Rekayasa di Balik Kerusuhan Ketapang", 24 November 1998
 See, for example, Ummat [Jakarta], "Agar Tak Jadi Partai Bonsai", 5 October 1998; Republika[Jakarta], "Amien Rais: Ada Kelompok yang Main Politik Bumi Hangus", 19 November 1998; and Suara Pembaruan[Jakarta], "Ali Sadikin: Tuduhan Makar, Fitnah!", 16 November 1998
 For a sense of this emerging bloc of forces, see:Forum Keadilan [Jakarta], "Abdul Qadir Djaelani: 'Di Mata Kami, Habibie Konstitusional", 16 November 1998
 Suara Merdeka [Jakarta], "Gus Dur: Saatnya Warga NU Tampil", 3 December 1998
 Ummat [Jakarta], "Amis Darah di Banyuwangi", 12 October 1998; Ummat, "Para Ustad itu Mati di Tangan `Ninja'", 12 October 1998
 See: Media Indonesia [Jakarta], "Wawancara Rudolf Edward Baringbing", 11 October 1998; Detik[Jakarta], "Said Aqiel SIradj (PBNU): Tuduhan Gus Dur Bukan Fitnah", 24 October 1998; Detik, "Ninja Mulai Garap Ponpes Jabotek", 29 October 1998; Detik, "Kasus Ninja Untuk Pecah PKB dan PDI", 2 November 1998; Ummat [Jakarta], "Kalau Bukan Adi Sasono, Lalu Siapa?", 12 November 1998; Ummat, "Sipil, Militer, atau Restu Orang Kuat", 12 November 1998; and Surabaya Post, "Tim NU Serahkan Hasil Investigasi Kasus Santet", 30 November 1998
 See: Human Rights Watch/Asia, The Damaging Debate on Rapes of Ethnic Chinese Women (New York, September 1998); Human Rights Watch/Asia, Better Protection of Rape Investigators Needed (New York, 12 October 1998); and Tempo [Jakarta], "Siapa yang Membunuh Ita?", 19 November 1998
 See, for example, Media Dakwah [Jakarta], "Keboijoisasi Islam", July 1998; Panji Masyarakat [Jakarta], "Benny dan Aksi Intelijen", 26 August 1998; Sabili [Jakarta], "Mengapa Prabowo Disingkirkan", 2 September 1998; and Sabili, "Mengapa Prabowo Mendekat", 2 September 1998
 On the late November rioting in Kupang, see: Detik[Jakarta], "Gubernur NTT Piet A Tallo: Pendompleng Bikin Rusuh", 30 November 1998
 Human Rights Watch/Asia, Indonesia Alert: Trouble in Irian Jaya (New York, 7 July 1998); Forum Keadilan [Jakarta], "Terjaga dari Mimpi Buruk", 7 September 1998; Antara [Jakarta], "Banyak Transmigran di Merauke Jual Rumah dan Tanah", 11 November 1998; Human Rights Watch/Asia, East Timor Massacre Reports Still Unconfirmed, Both Sides Must Respect Rights (New York, November 1998)