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Press Release, Statement by
ACEH REFERENDUM INFORMATION CENTER (ARIC)
SENTRAL INFORMASI REFERENDUM ACEH (SIRA)

FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACY,
ACEHNESE CONSISTENTLY FIGHT FOR REFERENDUM IN SPITE OF HAVING INTIMIDATION


Referendum proposed by by Acehnese Student and Youth at a Congress held on January 31, to February 4, 1999 will be consistently fought by them with civilians to be realized in spite of getting some intimidations and challenges, especially from Indonesian Central Government and Armed Forces. The Students and Acehnese people believe that referendum was the only best solution to solve Aceh problems and cases democratically and peacefully.

Furthermore, at the reality of Acehnese social condition nowadays, the civilians support the referendum. Therefore there are no other choices for students, Youth and Acehnese except fighting for referendum peacefully as the most democratic instrument to determine the future Acehnese dignity. It is a commitment of Student and Youth which always stated trough demonstration and various activities of socializing the referendum. Because the referendum is very democratic, not separatist movement.

So, whatever challenges and intimidations faced by students, youth and civilians will not make them give up. Even brutal and patty engineering to fail demand of democracy via referendum such as the shooting high school students in Pidie and North Aceh on April 1999, the massacre of civilians in Simpang KKA of Nort Acheh on May 3, 1999, the killing in Alue Nireh of East Aceh on May 14, 1999, and intimidations which are continuously happening toward civilians by ABRI (Indonesian Army Forces), even strengthen and empower the stand of them to continue the struggle and socialization of the referendum.

Even, nowadays the students and youth with the civilians supports always manage the struggle strategies peacefully coordinated by Aceh Referendum Information Center (ARIC/ SIRA) as familiar and legal forum mandated by Acehnese Student and Youth Congress on February 4, 1999.

And the efforts to radicalize the public is still going on right now, such provocation and agitation, shooting to provoke, mental and physical intimidation, stone throwing insulting civilians. There is a strong indication that everything done by military has become their own way and culture.

SIRA Condemns all kinds of human rights abuses and anti-democracy. Besides the addition of military personnels sent to Aceh is not to secure peace, but to ruin Aceh and to fail referendum petition. The statement and instruction to shoot civilians by A. Rahman Ghafar, Chief Commanders Regional ABRI   of Bukit Barisan, always published in the news paper or television. Even Indonesian Chief Police Commanders Rusmanhadi declared publicly on the Waspada news paper Medan on May 15, 1999.

The Indonesian Government and military authority showed an anti-democracy tradition, a tendency toward human right violations, and no sympathy for referendum supporters. The strong support for the referendum movement and the positive response from civilians and university students out Aceh province have made the government, especially the Army Forces to turn the demand of peaceful referendum to separatism and radicalism by creating and engineering the accusation for Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and provocateurs committing violence.

However, based on press releases the Acheh Sumatera National Liberation Front (ASNLF/ AGAM) on the local and national mass media, and the SIRA direct observation in the field, it is obvious that there is an engineered GAM by ABRI as much as provocateurs. This will be more obvious after Indonesian Army reprieved eleven provocateurs arrested in North Acheh, where they use GAM symbols or emblems. This happened just before the KKA incident in Lhokseumawe on May 3, 1999.

After being interrogated by Military Police, it was clear that they are from specially trained soldiers (Kopassus). However, until recently they are not processed legally. Even, the more provocateurs were arrested by people and students in many places, such as in Bandar Dua Pidie on May 7 to 9, 1999. All of them were from Indonesia Army Forces.

Therefore, to face the upcoming other engineering from anti-Aceh and democracy movement, SIRA will always strive for the movement of referendum peacefully and will be executed direct guidance for all people throughout Aceh Province. Whatever done by the university students, Youth, and Acehnese people nowadays is based on democracy, human rights, solidarity, law, and peace, since referendum will provide every individual with the choices in the peaceful and democratic sphere.

And even the referendum is a part of human rights it self which must be backed all parties let alone by international world and bodies. Thus the Acehnese people as a part of universal citizens must have freedom and total support for self-governed governance and self-determination . This Acehnese’s future good-will is backed by the fact that is in the era of Aceh’s integration into Indonesia, Aceh suffer from injustice, human rights violations, environment exploitation, and colonialization.  On the other hand, the SIRA condemns the acts of intimidation and terror aimed at pro-referendum activists and Acehnese people. And the military has listed a number of activists in their blacklist to be assassinated. This is absolutely the culture and attitude of ABRI in violating human rights and undermining the petition of democratization via referendum. The culture and attitude must be strongly condemned by all.

Central Coordinator SIRA, 
Secretariat    : Jl. T. Panglima Polem No. 62 Banda Aceh 23122
Phone            : 62 651 24043
Fax                 : 62 651 23939
Mobile           :  62 811 683293
E Mail            : sirareferendum@hotmail.com

 

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Last modified: June 22, 2000