Wed, 07 May 2003

GAM, small armed separatists

With reference to the editorial entitled Peace versus sovereignty (The Jakarta Post, April 29) I would like to share my views as follows.

First, we have to value or to see the statement made by Coordinating Minister of Political Affairs and Security Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in a precise context and of the environment of the condition and situation at that time.

Second, the above mentioned statement cannot be compared with the condition in the 1940s when we fought for independence. The statement is not directed to all Acehnese but only to a small "armed separatist movement".

Third, this is not purely a problem of "peace and sovereignty" or "Jakarta's rule over Aceh" but merely a problem of how a small gang of separatists "playing" the country such as Indonesia.

Fourth, both parties have agreed to attend the Joint Council" meeting on April 25. All of a sudden, the Henry Dunant Center (HDC) informed the Indonesian government that GAM was not able to attend the meeting and unilaterally decided to start the meeting on April 27. So, where is the seriousness of the "leaders" of GAM who reside in Stockholm while GAM in Aceh is ready to attend the meeting?

Fifth, I don't think the government of Indonesia will halt the peace process as long as there is seriousness, sincerity and willingness of either GAM leaders in Europe or GAM in Aceh to continue the peace process in Aceh

Once again, we have to see the statement in that perspective.

SUTISNA S., Jakarta