Al Jazeera reported Tuesday that “retired generals” are supporting “groups involved in anti-Christian violence” in an effort to overthrow Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s government, which they believe is “too reformist.” Government officials dismissed the report. “We see no serious threat indicating it as treason,” said a Yudhoyono spokesman. Communications and Informatics Minister Tifatul Sembiring said “Sometimes news stories are made for sensation and not based on facts but on mere rumors.” The Al Jazeera report also referenced an online posting of a proposed “Islamic revolutionary cabinet.” The proposal’s creators deny the list represented an attempt to overthrow the government.
“I believe that we will not be a burden to ASEAN,” said Zacarias da Costa, East Timor’s foreign minister, who was in Jakarta to present his country’s bid to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Critics of East Timor’s ASEAN membership have argued that the 10-nation bloc should be assisting its poorer members in advance of opening the group’s free trade zone in 2015. Indonesia has offered to support the bid. “I know that some believe that it (Timor’s entry) may impact on ASEAN community building efforts. Indonesia is part of those who believe the case on the contrary,” Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa said.