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Aceh women’s organisation rejects military presidential candidate

Fpdra.com - April 26, 2004

Khairul, Banda Aceh – When contact by Fpdra.com by phone, the general chairperson of the Acehnese Democratic Women’s Organisation (Oraganisasi Perempauan Aceh Demokratik, ORPAD), Raihana Diani, said that they reject a presidential candidate originating from the military.

According to Diani, two of the presidential candidates which have emerged such as [recently resigned coordinating minister for politics and security] Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and [former defense minister and armed forces chief] Wiranto have committed extensive human rights violations. In the case of martial law in Aceh, SBY is the person most responsible for the civilian victims and women who have been raped since martial law [came into force on May 19] and must be held accountable before he nominates himself as a presidential candidate.

Similarly, Wiranto was involved in human rights violations and it is very likely that if he becomes president there will be more cases like East Timor in Aceh, said Diani.

Diani also said that success of the New Order [regime of former President Suharto] and the military in restoring their position in Indonesian politics cannot be separated from the weakness of the pro-democracy movement and the extent of their dependency on the fake reformists like [National Mandate Party chairperson] Amien Rais and Gus Dur [former President Abdurrahman Wahid]. This situation has worsened because the democratic movement in Indonesia has failed to unite and still operates pragmatically.

In Aceh the situation is the same, because the movement in Aceh was dealt a severe blow by the military who again have total control of the province. So in the sort term it is time for all of the movements in Aceh to united and confront the military [and in the long term] to united to struggle for national liberation. This unity should not just be between students but must include all elements of society, including the Free Aceh Movement. If the unity of the Acehnese people can become a reality it will increasingly open up a path for the Acehnese people to resist the military and liberate Aceh.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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