Jakarta riots of May 1998


Jakarta riots of May 1998

Jakarta Riots of May 1998 were riots that occurred in several parts of Indonesia, notably Jakarta and Surakarta during May 1998. The riots were triggered by economic problems like food shortages and mass unemployment in Indonesia.

The Indonesian currency Rupiah had collapsed and prices of basic goods skyrocketed. Students took to the streets in Jakarta and protested against then President Suharto. The rioting started after four students from Trisakti University were shot dead during a demonstration on 12 May 1998. After the funeral the following day, rioting started outside the university, with police and military offices and cars as the major targets.

The riots became more widespread on 14-15 May 1998 and quickly turned into a pogrom targeting properties and businesses owned by ethnic-Chinese (Chinese Indonesian), who were made into scapegoats. Many shops put up signs such as "Milik pribumi" ("Owned by native Indonesian(s)") or "Pro Reformasi" ("Pro-reformation"). Otherwise, shops owned by ethnic Chinese were looted and burned. There were also dozens of documented accounts of ethnic Chinese women being raped. Comments the US State Department:

Following the riots, allegations of mass rape of ethnic Chinese women were made, forcing the Government to establish a fact-finding team to investigate the riots and rapes. The team found that elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked. It also verified 66 rapes of women, the majority of whom were Sino-Indonesian, as well as numerous other acts of violence against women. [ [http://www.fas.org/irp/world/indonesia/indonesia-1998.htm 1998 Human Rights Report - Indonesia ] ]
In this climate of fear, many ethnic Chinese, who made up about 3-5% of Indonesia's population, fled the country.

In the aftermath, a fact finding team from the Asian Human Rights Commission stated that the events were orchestrated by the military. [ [http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2003statement/87/ INDONESIA: Five years after May 1998 rights, those responsible for the atrocities remain at large ] ]

It is claimed in most Chinese media that there were over 1,500 people killed including over 160 raped in the riots.

ee also

*Indonesian 1998 Revolution
*Pogrom
*Sinophobia
*Anti-Chinese legislation in Indonesia
*1997 East Asian financial crisis

References

External links

* [http://www.fas.org/irp/world/indonesia/indonesia-1998.htm Indonesia Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998] (From U.S. Department of State)
* [http://www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2003statement/87/ INDONESIA: Five years after May 1998]
* [http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/indonesia/todo-ind.htm Attack on Ethnic Chinese Women in Indonesian - Human Rights Watch website]
* [http://www.colorq.org/HumanRights/article.aspx?d=Indonesia&x=Reward ColorQ World - The Indonesian Riots]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/indonesia/special_report/118576.stm BBC - Ethnic Chinese tell of mass rapes]
* [http://www.siamweb.org/news_culture/jakarta_riot/ Siamweb.org - Victim's account]
* [http://image.baidu.com/i?tn=baiduimage&ct=201326592&lm=-1&cl=2&fm=ps&word=1998%D3%A1%C4%E1%C5%C5%BB%AA Some of the photos from the Chinese search engine Baidu(Warning: violent graphics)]


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