Mon, 22 Mar 1999

Government 'too slow on Aceh'

YOGYAKARTA: The government does not care about Aceh, Governor Syamsuddin Mahmud said at talks held by the All-Java Community of Acehnese here Sunday. He said it was indicated by the slow progress of the government in addressing the impact of the 10- year military operation in the province.

"We hope that President B.J. Habibie's visit on March 26 can bring some hope," he said. Past atrocities by the military, he said, worsened feelings of injustice among the Achenese. Industries such as natural gas, oil and fertilizers, particularly in North Aceh, have yet to bring prosperity to locals, he added.

Syamsuddin expressed support for the proposal to set up a military command in Aceh, saying training would allow it to take into account the local culture. (44)