Tue, 19 Aug 2003

Terrorism does exist here

The recent JW Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta which killed 12 people, and forced more than 150 others to be hospitalized for injuries, proved that terrorism does exist here.

The terror leaves the public in fear and prolonged uncertainty. Before JW Marriott, terrorists had bombed Sari Club and Paddy's Pub in Kuta, Bali, leaving 202 people dead and more than 400 others injured. Other bombings had also occurred at several other places.

The Coordinating Minister for Political and Security, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, recently emphasized the fact that terrorism exists in Indonesia. And thus the people continue to speculate on the matter.

According to Yudhoyono, the most important thing is how to deal with terrorism.

But in a democratic environment debate and freedom of speech is all very well, provided that the debate is fair. Everybody should be able to talk and express their ideas, but talk without action is pointless.

In regard to the JW Marriott bombing and its aftermath, it is imperative that we find ways and policies -- including laws and rulings -- which are stronger, to prevent terrorism.

-- Kompas, Jakarta