Summary executions of men - and, in some
cases, boys as young as 12 - have become
routine as the military (TNI) moves from village to
village, searching for members of the Free Aceh
In Jakarta, political rulers appear not to care,
secure in the knowledge that their dirty little war
can be conducted with virtual impunity.
The international community has already given its blessing to the crackdown,
with the United States, Japan, Australia and the European Union all declaring
that Indonesia's territorial integrity is paramount. Their fear is that if Aceh breaks
away, Papua and other regions may follow - and the world's largest Muslim
country could collapse like a house of cards.
US punishes firms in Iran and China
The US has imposed sanctions against a Chinese company for allegedly
supplying Iran with ballistic missile technology, without providing details of
The penalties will deprive one of China's largest conglomerates, North China
Industries (Norinco), of annual sales in the US worth more than $100m for the
next two years.
China denied the US claims and called the sanctions "entirely unreasonable".
US officials said the sanctions - which cancel all export-import licences and
contracts with the US - are thought to be the severest yet to be imposed
against a Chinese company.
The latest US move comes as it tries to build a case against Iran claiming it is
developing nuclear weapons.
The Iran's Shahid Hemmat Industrial, the government defense industrial agency
in charge of developing and producing ballistic missiles, will be largely
unaffected because of existing US sanctions against the country.
The US did not specify what technologies were sold but claims the deal was
struck after August 2002.
"These penalties were imposed because the US Government determined that
these entities contributed materially to the efforts of a foreign country - in this
specific case Iran - to use, acquire, design, develop, produce or stockpile
missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction," State Department
spokeswoman Jo-Anne Prokopowicz told AFP.
Norinco, a key supplier of the People's Liberation Army of China declined to
Responding to whether Norinco had exported ballistic missile products to Iran, a
spokesman said, "Please don't ask further. My brain is blank."
In April 2000, the Clinton administration imposed sanctions against the Shahid
Hemmat Industrial and three other Iranian companies for "knowingly engaging
in the export of military technology".
Shahid Hemmat is a key developer of Iran's Shahab-3 missile, which reputedly
has a range of 800 miles, enough to reach Israel, Turkey and Afghanistan.
The Shahab-3 is thought to be based on the design of North Korea's Nodong.
President George W. Bush has group Iran with Iraq and North Korea as a
member of a so-called 'axis of evil'.
The sanctions will also do little to improve relations with China just days ahead
of a meeting between Mr Bush and the new Chinese President Hu Jintao.
"Politically it won't be a good thing, but it won't affect the first summit meeting
very substantially," Zhu Feng, director of the International Security Programme
at Peking University.
"In the context of US pressure on Iran, it's a big warning to China that it has to
watch what it's doing," he said.
Norinco is a global supplier of vehicles and mechanical products,
optical-electronics, chemicals, explosives, civil firearms, light industrial products
and "special products".
According to documents made public on Thursday the sanctions went into effect
on 9 May.