Wed, 14 May 2003

Firm action needed against GAM

From Media Indonesia

The greater part of the Aceh population supports the peace- making process in the region and the outcome of conflict settlement so far. But certain elements in society are attempting to spoil the process and ruin the chance of compromise.

Recent public protests at several offices of the Joint Security Committee (JSC) in Aceh have mostly been triggered by abduction and extortion committed by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). This is obviously a violation because GAM members in JSC assume the double function of monitoring officers as well as being mediators in the release of kidnapped citizens. In the case of extortion, GAM calls its illegal fees a "legitimate tax", which flies in the face of reality.

Therefore, the government should take stringent action because Aceh is within the legal territory of the Republic of Indonesia. Why should it hesitate to deal with a thorn in its own flesh?