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S I R A
Sentral Informasi Referendum Aceh
(Aceh Referendum Information Center)
Jl. Tanah Tinggi No. 28 Keuramat Banda Aceh - Aceh
Phone: +62-651-31751 Hand Phone: +62-811680395 Email: Intlnet.email@example.com
Kutaraja (Banda Aceh), November 8, 1999
His Excellency Mr. Koffi Annan
Secretary General of the United Nations Organization
New York - USA
Request for UN Intervention to Stop Human Right Abuses by the Indonesian Military
and for the Implementation of Referendum in Aceh.
Human right abuses perpetrated by the Indonesian armed forces with the full knowledge, if not by order of the Indonesian political authorities, against the Acehnese people have violated various articles of the United Nations' Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948. The Indonesian colonization of Aceh has resulted in the deliberate destruction of the Acehnese fabric of society and culture. It has trampled on the sovereignty and dignity of the Acehnese people. Massacres, not only those carried out during the 10 year period of the so-called DOM (Military Operation Area) from 1989 to 1998, which are now well documented with the discoveries of more than a hundred mass graves, one of which contained more than 200 corpses, but also those that are still going on now with impunity in full view of the local and foreign media and NGO representatives, have not budged the Jakarta regime at all into taking any preventive, let alone punishing, measures. The fact that military/police brutalities are being carried out systematically and well organized shows the State complicity if not its official sanction. The latest incident took place only last week with the kidnapping and murder of the Chairman and Secretary of our branch in Lhok Seumawe. The modus operandi adopted by the military is retaliation against villagers each time they are attacked by the GAM independent fighters. The latest incident of this type took place on 1/11//1999, with the torching of more than 30 shops, several houses, a prayer house and a factory in the District of Bireuen, North Sumatra. The soldiers simply went on rampage after the killing of 2 of them by GAM fighters; they shot at cattle and goats, and sprayed an ambulance with bullets, wounding badly two Red Cross male nurses. Such incidents have become so common that it hardly make news outside of Aceh.
The Acehnese people place a great hope on the wisdom and compassion of Your Excellency in order to start necessary measures towards the prevention of the Indonesian military atrocities, that has proven to be no less than genocide.
We Acehnese are very sad that despite the very cruel and sadistic tortures and murders that are still going on in Aceh there has been no serious attention from the relevant international bodies on the matter.
We would like to take this occasion to point out to Your Excellency that at present the whole set up of Indonesian governmental activities in Aceh have ceased. Almost the entire Indonesian administrative functions in Aceh have simply stopped as Acehnese have no longer any confidence in them and are refusing to have anything to do with them. The consequences of this situation are very dangerous as there would be a vacuum of power and lawlessness would set in. Radical and sporadic social upheavals would take place. The United Nations have to intervene to prevent such disastrous social calamities from taking place.
There should be no more doubt of the determination of the Acehnese people on their legitimate, democratic and peaceful demand and struggle to regain their right of self-determination through a referendum, to decide whether to remain with Indonesia or regain their sovereignty illegally surrendered by the Dutch to Indonesia in 1949.
Your Excellency must have been aware of the unprecedented and extra-ordinary show of will and discipline of the people of Aceh: 2 million people, representing 50% of the entire population, have converged into the capital of the country, Kutaraja (a.k.a Banda Aceh), last November 8, to express their support for Referendum.
Organized by SIRA (Aceh Referendum Information Center) which was established by the coalition of student organizations on February 4, 1999 specifically to speed up the realization of the referendum, the said rally was a popular expression of the conviction of the people of Aceh that referendum is the most democratic solution for its conflict with the Jakarta regime.
May we also point out, Your Excellency, that Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid himself has voiced several times his support for the proposed referendum. The President has stated that only its implementation needed to be studied further, in order to prevent the repeat of the tragedy that had occured soon after the referendum was held in Timor Leste. SIRA on its part understand very well this worry, as it is us, the Acehnese who would be the victims of such a tragedy. However, we would like to assure Your Excellency, that no such situation in Aceh would take place if the United Nations supervise the referendum in order to prevent cheating and provocations. As it was very well demonstrated during the November 8 rally, the people of Aceh can maintain discipline and orderliness on their own without the presence of a single policeman to maintain order.
Finally, Your Excellency, the urgency of your intervention is such that any delay would worsen the situation to a point that it would be impossible to remedy.
Placing our hope and confidence in your wisdom and humanity, we remain, Your Excellency,
Most sincerely yours,