US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Jul 2002 to Oct 2002

: Indonesia’s chief security minister Yudhoyono announces that Jakarta will send a team of intelligence officials to the U.S. to discuss recent arrests in Java of terrorist suspects.

: Indonesian military chief Gen. Sutarto states that foreign terrorists had operated in two regions of Indonesia (Moluccas and Sulawesi), implicitly contradicting Indonesia’s vice president and supporting the U.S. ambassador.

: About 1,500 militant Muslims from Java and Sumatra attend a mass anti-U.S. rally in Surakarta and declare readiness to wage jihad against the U.S.

: Burma’s military government releases 18 political prisoners, including 10 members of the opposition NLD.

: Singapore and the U.S. agree to allow U.S. inspectors to screen U.S.-bound cargo for weapons of mass destruction.

: Indonesia announces it will investigate allegations that Abu Bakar Baasyir and his organization Jemaah Islamiah are involved in global terrorism.

: U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney and Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Badawi meet and agree to enhance cooperation against terrorism.

: U.S. Embassies in Malaysia and Indonesia that had closed on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, reopen as do consulates in Surabaya and Ho Chi Minh City. U.S. Embassies in Vietnam and Cambodia (which are physically vulnerable) remain closed.

: Singapore announces the arrest of another 21 suspects linked to al-Qaeda and Muslim separatists in the Philippines.

: The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization meeting in Hanoi adopts a joint communiqué to fight terrorism, but opposes a unilateral, unprovoked attack on Iraq.

: U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Ralph Boyce publicly advises U.S. investors in Indonesia to “wait for the government’s announced program of economic reforms to begin to show some signs of being implemented.”

:  Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien meets with senior U.S. officials and members of Congress to build a framework for long-term cooperation.

: The Pentagon notifies Congress of a possible sale of 18 F/A-18F fighters worth nearly $1.5 billion to Malaysia.

: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz says the U.S. is “disappointed” with the apparent lack of will to vigorously prosecute human rights abusers within the Indonesian Armed Forces.

: U.S. establishes a joint operations center with the Thai Third Army in Chiang Mai to gather intelligence on drugs along the border.

: Former East Timor Gov. Jose Soares becomes first Indonesian official sentenced (three years imprisonment) for gross human rights violations in East Timor.

: Indonesia’s Parliament adjourns a two-week session in which legislators introduced constitutional changes designed to shrink the military’s role in politics and boost presidential powers (by direct popular election).

: Burma’s military junta frees 14 political prisoners just days after opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi called for the release of all dissidents as a precondition for national reconciliation. About 1,000 prisoners of conscience are estimated to remain behind bars in Burma.

: The U.S. and Thailand agree in principle to hold a U.S.-ASEAN summit in Thailand when Bangkok hosts the 2003 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

: The new ASEAN secretary general, Singaporean diplomat Ong Keng Yong, observes that “the U.S. military presence in the region inspires confidence . . . so there is a healthy effect.”

: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell attends ASEAN Regional Forum.

: Secretary of State Colin L. Powell visits India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Brunei.

: The U.S. Congress approve $55 million in supplemental military assistance to the Philippines – $30 million more than the Bush administration requested.

: A Thai security expert reports International Maritime Bureau believes al-Qaeda is responsible for increased piracy in the Malacca Straits and is targeting ships carrying radioactive materials. Last year, 649 cases of piracy were recorded in the Straits.

: The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee votes to drop restrictions on military aid to Jakarta.

: President Arroyo selects opposition stalwart, Sen. Blas Ople, as foreign secretary replacing Vice President Guingona who had opposed the deployment of U.S. forces in the Philippines.

: U.S. intelligence sources indicate that the Sept. 11 attacks were first conceived at a meeting in Malaysia of key al-Qaeda operatives.

July 17, 2002: U.S. and Philippines naval forces begin 11-day joint disaster-relief exercises at the former U.S. base in Subic.

:   Maj. Gen. Damiri, the highest ranking Indonesian military official indicted for the military rampage in East Timor in 1999, goes on trial for allowing the forces under his command to commit violence.

:   Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announces that the U.S. military will begin new exercises in the southern Philippines (on Sulu Island) upon completion of current exercises on Basilan Island.

: In testimony before the House of Representatives, Indonesian military chiefs describes a navy lacking ammunition and seaworthy ships and an air force with most of its planes grounded for lack of spare parts.

: East Timor and Indonesia establish formal diplomatic ties.

Date Range