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Government to prohibit foreign NGO from working for Aceh separatists

Tempo Interactive - April 27, 2005

Jakarta - Coordinating Minister of People's Welfare Alwi Shihab says that one of the clauses which is currently being prepared for foreign non-government organisations (NGOs) working in Aceh is that they not interfere in Indonesia's domestic affairs. They are also prohibited from working in the interests of separatists and particular ideologies.

"But [they must be] really working for reconstruction and rehabilitation and must provide a signed commitment [to this effect beforehand]", said Shihab following the opening of the National Conference on Poverty Alleviation and the Achievement of the Millenium Goals in Jakarta on Wednesday April 27.

According to Shihab, they are currently drafting an agreement that must be signed by foreign organisations. The government is to form a team that will evaluate some 150 foreign organisations that have already returned their application forms to participate in the post tsunami reconstruction phase in Aceh.

A number of government agencies are preparing such clauses including the Coordinating Ministry for People's Welfare, the Coordinating Ministry for Politics, Security, Legal Affairs and Human Rights (sic) as well as the Aceh provincial government. "The results will be publicised within 14 days", said Shihab. He also said that over the next 14 days the government would allow other organisations to register. (Ami)

[Translated by James Balowski.]
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