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Acehnese from across Java to hold dialogue on Helsinki negotiations

Aceh Kita - August 2, 2005

AK-41, Bandung – The Acehnese community from the Bandung Community of Acehnese Families (Keluarga Masyarakat Aceh Bandung, Kamaba) will hold an all-Java Acehnese Society Dialogue Forum on August 7 in Bandung with the theme “The role and attitude of Acehnese civil society in Java Island on the Helsinki negotiations”.

“This event will bring together 200 participants made up of student and youth representatives, public figures, members of the DPR (People’s Representative Assembly) and the Aceh DPD (provincial parliament)”, the head of the event’s steering committee Said Aziz told Aceh Kita on Tuesday August 2. “We hope that they will be able to express their thoughts at this civil society forum in order to best think out the implementation of the peace process [in Aceh]”.

Also attending the event will be DPR member M Nasir Djamil, the Minister of Communication and Information, Sofyan Djalil, and Golkar Party member and media magnate, Surya Paloh. Along with participants from Java, the three have already declared their readiness to be present at the event. “We hope that the forum will be able to be a medium for consultation between the Indonesian government and the Acehnese community living in Java Island on the Helsinki negotiations”, said Aziz, who is also head of Kamaba’s department of student affairs. “We want to make a contribution to the peace process”.

Following the meeting in Bandung, on August 8 the participants will also participate in a joint dialogue in Malaysia. “Later they will also participate [in a dialogue] in Malaysia”, said Nurzahri, a student from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

Acehnese students

Aziz said that there are presently as many as 600 Acehnese student studying at various schools of higher education in Bandung. Sixty of these were victims of the tsunami.

Kamaba itself said Aziz, will be seeking assistance for scholarships for the 60 who were victims of the tsunami. “The first stage has already obtained assistance and will continue for three months”, he said. Aziz said that the Rotary Club has already paid for 17 students and the ITB alumni network has assisted others. [dzie]

[Translated by James Balowski.]
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