Ron Moreau

Digging For Trouble

The Aghawagon Valley hardly seems like one of the wealthiest places on earth. The Indonesian government has spent as little as possible on developing the California-size province of Irian Jaya.

Burma's Terror Twins

Boxed in and mercilessly outgunned, the remnants of "God's Army" battled to the end for their impossible cause. The Christian fundamentalist guerrillas' mystical leaders--the cheroot-chomping preteen twin brothers Johnny and Luther Htoo--had vanished.

Terror Twins

Boxed in and mercilessly outgunned, the remnants of "God's Army" battled to the end for their impossible cause. The Christian fundamentalist guerrillas' mystical leaders--cheroot-chomping preteen twin brothers Johnny and Luther Htoo--had vanished.

Shadow Of A Coup

To get a sense of just how dicey things are in Indonesia these days, get a load of Jakarta's reaction to some blunt American lecturing. It came as sectarian violence in the outlying Maluku Islands spread to the tourist haven of Lombok.

First-Person Global

An election upset, war in the Balkans, violent demonstrations, a lost spacecraft--our correspondents witnessed it all. Four look back on some of the turning points of 1999.


It was one of the oddest news stories of the year. Last January, Johnny and Luther Htoo, 12-year-old Burmese twins believed to possess magical powers, launched a botched raid on a Thai hospital that left 10 of their followers dead.

The Promise Of Trouble

Hamamah last saw her husband alive as he walked off into the rice fields last August. A neighbor rushed to tell her that Indonesian Army troops were sweeping her village, Merasah Mesjid, for separatists.

The Saint And The Housewife

Hardly anyone took Abdurrahman Wahid's presidential bid seriously--until the votes were counted. The ailing, nearly blind Muslim scholar, 59, easily ranks as Indonesia's most admired and beloved individual.

Indonesia's Magic Man

Meeting Abdurrahman Wahid at his modest South Jakarta house is like visiting a respected village elder. You always find a line of people waiting to see him: slick-suited businessmen, social activists, poor East Javanese farmers all come to unload their troubles and receive his blessing.

Duel Of The Shadow Puppets

One thing is clear enough: if Indonesia's students were voting, President B. J. Habibie would be out in a flash. Thousands of them hit Jakarta's streets last week, tossing Molotov cocktails and clashing with riot troops, as Habibie delivered an "accountability speech," his justification of his 17-month-old administration.

'You Can't Run, You Can't Hide'

The people of East Timor couldn't help but feel twinges of optimism. As Australian-led peacekeeping troops rolled in and started arresting armed thugs who had been terrorizing the territory, young men came pouring down from the hills where they had been hiding. "I am not afraid anymore," said Martino Pinto, 26, who had left his wife and four children in the hills to search for food and see if it were safe to take them home.

One Thug, One Vote

The most defiant act of their lives started like a stealth operation. Before dawn on the day of East Timor's referendum on independence from Indonesia, a schoolteacher named Armindo Florindo trekked into the deforested hills to round up hundreds of frightened villagers.

The Winds Of Rage

On a wall among the ruins, someone has painted an epitaph of sorts: place of ethnic cleansing. A stately house once stood on this site in Bili Aron, a village in Indonesia's westernmost province, Aceh, on the northwestern tip of Sumatra.

Mad About Mega

Megawati Sukarnoputri is living proof that gut impressions aren't always right. Only three years ago, former president Suharto thought he had banished the opposition leader into political oblivion.

Put Away The Yellow Shirts

During Indonesia's past six election campaigns, members of the Golkar party wore bright yellow with pride. After all, as the color of former president Suharto's powerful political machine, yellow meant only one thing: victory.

Running Through A Minefield

Amid the brass bands, the wildly costumed marchers and the unfurled flags of 48 competing political parties, there was a persistent sense of dread. Indonesia's 16-day official parliamentary campaign began last week.

A New Kind Of Hell

I'm free," reads some of the graffiti in a poor neighborhood in Dili, East Timor's capital. Not yet. Early this month progovernment militiamen showed up with AK-47s to silence all calls for the province's independence from Indonesia.

The Politics Of Terror

Wahdi, a 70-year-old cowherd, was one of 60 villagers who attended a voter-registration meeting in the West Javan village of Selasari on a rainy evening in late March.

Suharto's Siege

The retired dictator greets each day with a tranquil routine. At his tree-shaded villa in central Jakarta's diplomatic quarter, the 77-year-old Suharto rises at dawn and bows toward Mecca in prayer.

Of Peace And Poison

Roughly a quarter century after the Vietnam War, the vestiges of the Ho Chi Minh Trail run through a nightmare landscape. Vast swaths of blighted countryside, once dense forest, now support almost no vegetation but the coarse weed known locally as American grass, useless for feeding humans, livestock or most wildlife.

The Back Beat Of Hard Times

Tin Pan Alley has come to Jakarta. Each day, a ragged army of troubadours fans out across Indonesia's capital, singing out their bitterness at the collapsed economy and the politicians they blame for their woes.

The Prisoner Of Hope

JUST OVER TWO YEARS AGO, INDONESIA'S then president Suharto found himself in a corner. During a visit to Jakarta, South Africa's President Nelson Mandela asked to meet the jailed resistance leader from East Timor, Xanana Gusmao.

Free--After 32 Lost Years

CHIA THYE POH IS STILL LEARNing to savor his newly restored freedom. A former member of the Singapore Parliament and leader of the Socialist Front, a small opposition party, he was arrested in 1966 under Singapore's Internal Security Act, which provides for detention without charges or trial.

Flames Of Faith

NESTLED AMONG THE QUIET homes of central Jakarta, the Al-Munawara mosque is a refuge of the spirit. Ahmad Sumargono, deputy leader of Indonesia's new Crescent Moon and Star Party, spent the Muslim holy month of Ramadan there, contemplating his soul and the political storms outside.

The Yugoslav Model

THE YOUNG SOLDIERS WERE LAST seen alive on a public bus, traveling away from their base in Indonesia's remote province of Aceh. Dressed in civilian clothes and headed home for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, they were ill prepared to face an angry mob.

The Devil's Due

THEY ARE THE ACCIDENTAL ART OF THE Khmer Rouge, a regime that thought it had abolished art: thousands of photographs of its own citizens, left behind in the notorious Tuol Sleng prison when it was abandoned in 1979.

Binding Up Old Wounds

Imagine if the government of Vietnam believed that one of its estimated 300,000 missing in action (MIAs) had been mistakenly buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Cambodia: Father Knows Best

In his 70 years, Prince Norodom Sihanouk has experienced most of the highs and lows that life has to offer. His career in Cambodian politics has taken him from god-king to prime minister to homeless exile, from guerrilla leader to political prisoner and eventually back to head of state.