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Sandiaga Uno hopes Rohingya refugees arrival won't tarnish Aceh's tourism image

Tempo - December 12, 2023

Riri Rahayu, Daniel A Fajri, Jakarta – Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno hopes that the arrival of Rohingya refugees will not tarnish the image of Indonesian tourism, especially Aceh's tourism.

"The Indonesian government will provide accommodation facilities, but [the Rohingya refugees] must not damage the reputation of tourism and the creative economy," Sandiaga said at his ministry's office on Monday, December 11, 2023. "So, we hope it doesn't have a negative impact on Aceh tourism."

Sandiaga emphasized that humanitarian efforts for the Rohingyas must be handled well. On the other hand, he said, the government is also collaborating with cross-sectors, multi-agencies, or even other countries, to address the situation, "as there are potentials for human trafficking crimes."

On Saturday, December 2, more than 100 Rohingya refugees, including women and children arrived by boats in Aceh, the westernmost province of Indonesia. They were met with rejection from locals, as they came following the arrival of more than 1,000 Rohingya refugees in Aceh last month.

According to the UNHCR, this is the largest wave of Rohingya refugee arrivals in Indonesia since 2015. For years, thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar via wooden boats to Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

President Joko Widodo or Jokowi on Monday, December 11, said that Indonesia will temporarily provide temporary assistance to Rohingya ethnic refugees entering Aceh Province. The government will also continue to prioritize the interests of local communities.

However, Jokowi did not answer when asked where the refugees will be sheltered. He only said that the government is still talking to international organizations including the UNHCR.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1808396/sandiaga-uno-hopes-rohingya-refugees-arrival-wont-tarnish-acehs-tourism-imag