Do the Acehnese hate foreigners? Do they want the many foreign aid workers laboring to help them to leave their villages? Are the Acehnese, you may ask, fanatical Muslims?
TAPOL in the press
It is almost impossible to imagine what the lives of tsunami survivors is like. Not only have they lost many members of their families and all their worldly goods, but they will have to try and rebuild a life in an ongoing conflict area that is little more than a man-made disaster.
An interesting opinion article appeared in this newspaper, which drew a comparison between the plight of the Palestinians and the Acehnese. (The Jakarta Post, Nov. 8). This is maybe the first time an Indonesian has connected the two conflicts.
Aceh will be the best place to judge whether the new government will be any different from previous regimes in Indonesia. One of the biggest challenges for Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono's government is to resolve the conflict in Aceh peacefully.
Thirty-nine years ago, on Oct. 1, 1965, an event occurred that was to trigger an earth-shattering upheaval in Indonesia. On that day, seven army officers were kidnapped and gunned down. The details of that incident are well known in Indonesia and have formed an essential part of the history taught in schools and solemnly commemorated every year in the media.