The state protection available to ethnic Chinese following the anti-Chinese violence in May 1998 (June 1998 - November 1998) [IDN30567.E]

Information on the state protection available to ethnic Chinese in Indonesia following the anti-Chinese riots in May 1998 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, a 6 October 1998 Inter Press Service article states:

"The Chinese victims [of the anti-Chinese riots in May] are still facing terror and intimidation targeted at them and their families," said Father Sandyawan, who runs the Jakarta Social Institute and who had probed into the rapes...Acong [who used to run a leather bag factory in Glodok, but stopped production as business dried up after May] adds that he dares not go out of the house after witnessing the lootings and burnings around Glocok. He has just had a security grille installed outside his house.

A 14 November 1998 AFP article states:

Mobs of thousands of people began attacking shopping centres in Jakarta on Saturday, setting fire to houses and goods as helicopters circled overhead, witnesses said. The crowds turned on shops in the Senen commercial district in central Jakarta, hauling out contents and burning them on the road despite shots fired by soldiers guarding the area, an AFP photographer said. Clashes took place before the attack after members of the Kostrad army strategic command fired warning shots overhead and into the crowd to disperse them....Another large crowd burned houses, cars and motorcycles at a different shipping district in an area near the presidential palace, witnesses said. The crowd also set a police post there on fire, the witnesses said, adding that the fewer than 100 Kostrad and Marines in the area were unable to control the mob. The crowds then started moving in their thousands towards the Chinatown area, already blackened and scarred from the savage riots in May which targeted mostly ethnic Chinese and left more than 1,000 dead, a reporter on the scene said.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 14 November 1998. "Indonesia: Mobs 'in Thouands' Approach Jakarta Chinatown." (FBIS-EAS-98-318 14 Nov. 1998/WNC)

Inter Press Service. 6 October 1998. Cheung Chui Yung. "Indonesia: Ethnic Chinese Put Life Together, Piece By Piece." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Asian Survey [Berkeley]. June 1998 - July 1998.

Asiaweek [Hong Kong]. June 1998 - September 1998.

China Focus [Princeton]. June 1998 - November 1998.

China Journal [Canberra]. July 1998.

Electronic sources: IRB databases, Internet, NEXIS/LEXIS, REFWORLD, WNC.

Far East Economic Review [Hong Kong]. June 1998 - November 1998.

Unsuccessful attempts to contact oral sources.