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The democratic movements in Aceh must unite: Dita Sari

Fpdra.com - April 13, 2004

Alisa P., Jakarta – Martial law in Aceh has entered its 10th month, and has consumed huge numbers of civilian casualties. Martial law in Aceh has also buried the people's democratic space and the political movements have been accused [by the military] of being a part of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) separates, said Dita Indah Sari during a break in a meeting of the United Opposition Front (Barisan Oposisi Bersatu, BOB).

Responding to the government's success in influencing public opinion and maintaining martial law in Aceh for such a long period, Sari said that this is evidence of the weakness of the democratic movement in Indonesia as well as the weakness of the democratic movement in Aceh itself. To date the democratic movement has acted in a fragmented manner, and has not untied, either in Aceh or Jakarta. Sari said she was very surprised that the democratic movement in Aceh, which has already found a common enemy, that is militarism, and has also has the same goals, that is a referendum to resolve the Aceh conflict, has also not been able to untie.

If all the different elements of the movement in Aceh remain unable to unite it will be difficult for martial law to be revoked or even to talk about a victory for the Acehnese people's struggle. Right now the people of Aceh need an alternative and the different elements of the movement, students, peasants, workers, academics and even GAM must join together in a united movement and build the determination to achieve the aspirations of the struggle said Sari.

[Translated by James Balowski.]