Tue, 18 Mar 2003

Govt told to limit foreign NGOs

JAKARTA: The government has been called upon to limit the number of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the province of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD).

The excessive number of NGOs has been held responsible for the worsening situation and condition in NAD as marked by the recent violent acts conducted by an unidentified group of people.

Prof. Dien Syamsuddin, secretary general of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI), criticized the excessive number of NGOs in NAD province which, he said, tended to create more problems than solutions for the area.

Describing the huge number of NGOs in the province, Prof. Dien Syamsuddin jokingly called NAD "the province of thousands of NGOs".

The MUI Secretary General pointed to reports received from MUI and Muhammadiyah organizations which revealed that not all NGOs in NAD province had been working for the goodness of the Aceh people but for their own hidden agenda.

According to him, both the central and regional governments have the authority to limit the number of unscrupulous NGOs in those areas. -- Antara