ACADEMIC USES NET TO CALL FOR BOYCOTTS
BY NORMAN AISBETT (ASIA DESK)
Dissident Indonesian academic George Aditjondro is using the Internet to appeal for worldwide boycotts of companies linked to the family of Indonesia President Suharto, or to Suharto "cronies"
Several Australian firms are on the list circulated by Dr Aditjondro, who list circulated by Dr Aditjondro, who lives in self-imposed exile in Australia. Other targeted businesses are in New Zealand, Europe and the United States. Dr Aditjondro taught at Perth's Murdoch University before moving to Newcastle University, in NSW.
He said his appeal was prompted by Jakarts's harsh crackdown on pro-democracy activists. It aimed to "to hurt the Suharto regime where it really hurts - in the pocket".
Dr Aditjondro urged :
* Pro-democracy suppoeters in Australia and other countries to campaign for a consumer boycott and picketing of Chesterton International, the real estate marketing company which he said was marketing luxury houses in the Bali Nirwana Resort project near in a sacred Hindu temple, despite public anger.
The resort owners, the Bakrie Brothers, had thrived from a close cooperation with Mr Suharto's children and his half-brother, Sudwikatmono.
* A boycott of Australian pharmacy group Amcal which has a joint venture with the Gemala Group of Indonesia, a group owned by the Wanandi brothers who benefited from links with Mr Suharto's private assistants and former military unit Kostrad.
* A boycott of Video Ezy, Australia'a biggest video rental company, in which a 60 per cent stake was bought by Berjaya Group (Malaysia), shareholders of which include Indonesian businessman Johanes Kotjo, a member of the Bimantra Group which is controlled by Mr Suharto's son, Bambang Trihatmoji.
* Picketing of the office of Melbourne based Meinhardt Internationsl, which had been involved in tourism projects which had caused poor farmers to be evicted from scarce land.
A video Ezy spokesman in Sydney, declined to comment
Melbourne-based Amcal brand manager Alfie Pezzi said Amcal did not get invloved in politics but would ask its joint partners for a briefing at a forthcoming meeting in Jakarta.
Meinhardt director Ron Hose was surprised at Dr Aditjondro's call, saying the company was trying to make a profit. "But it's just hard work. We are not caught up in politics," he said.