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Martial law has brought suffering to the Acehnese people: IKARA

Fpdra.com - May 12, 2004

M. Ilaham, Jakarta – The chairperson of the Association of Acehnese Families (Ikatan Keluarga Rakyat Aceh, IKARA), Faisal Syarifuddi, says that during the one year that martial law has been in place in Aceh it has brought great suffering to the Acehnese people, particularly innocent civilians. This issue came up during a break in an action by Acehnese people at the presidential palace in Jakarta on Tuesday May 11.

According to Syarifuddi, resolving the Aceh question though militaristic methods has been proven to have failed because it has resulted in many civilian victims and therefore this must be evaluated by all parties in determining future government policy after May 19 [when the second six month period of martial law comes to an end].

If viewed in terms of the targets which were set out [by the government itself] it is fitting that martial law to be revoked and followed by attempts to find a resolution to the Aceh question which is democratic and can guarantee that no more civilians will fall victim.

Separately meanwhile, Mahmudal, the chairperson of the Central Leadership Committee of the Student Solidarity for the People (Solidaritas Mahasiswa Untuk Rakyat, SMUR), said that the one year of martial law has destroyed everything the people’s lives hinge upon which should in fact have been administered properly by the Indonesian government if it wishes to win the hearts and minds of the people. This was not however done by the government so the Acehnese people’s mistrust of Indonesia has continued to grow, especially since the government is continuing to deploy troops in Aceh based on various irrational arguments.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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