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From: SIRA < >
Sent: Tuesday, March 6, 2000 8:12 AM
Subject: SIRA: Protest Letter to President Gus Dur 

The Honorable
Mr. President of The Republic of Indonesia
In Jakarta

SIRA Statement : Stop the State Violence and Anti-Democracy in Aceh 

The escalation of violence culture practices and human rights violation as well as anti- democracy by state-- through its military authority- are still in progress in Aceh. Quantitatively and qualitatively crimes against humanity and opposition to democratic movement are still escalating at this very moment. Moreover, after the declaration of direct democracy-referendum-by Acehnese Student and Youth Congress on February 4, 1999 ago, armies are trying to use peculiar and illogical excuses so that Acehnese people can be victimized.

Various intimidation, terrors, and kidnapping civilians wanting referendum in Aceh are concrete evidence of the excuses. Furthermore, from several regencies the grass root and Aceh Referendum Information Center (SIRA) investigation team reported that civilians from various districts in Pidie, East Aceh and North Aceh still being forced by the military inhumanly to tear referendum banners and to lick the symbols printed on streets. If the order no done, the civilians will be the target of violence, beating, torture and shot threat.

SIRA Condemns

Prior to the mentioned situations, brutal and inhuman actions such intimidation, torture, and repressive actions to eradicate referendum symbols on streets took place in West Aceh, South Aceh, Central Aceh and Aceh Singkil. Consequently, many civilians become the victims of Indonesian military violence. 

Responding to this violence, SIRA hereby declares that we condemn the state violence actions perpetrated by Indonesian Army Force and Polices. The actions definitely violate human rights, law, democracy, and it can worsen security and break up peace process in Aceh. Besides, the Central Government and armies themselves should immediately stop the violence culture practices to save Acehnese minority ethnic, humanity, peace and democracy. On no account can military personnel intimidate Acehnese civilians demanding a referendum because referendum is the democratic and civilized of their aspiration; they are not separatist and are not against the law. Therefore, SIRA also declares that military personnel and Central Government are held responsible for what the have been doing to the people. 

Acehnese people demanding a referendum conducting in their country do not fight with military personnel, but the just want channel their true aspiration through banners and symbols. Moreover, they are fighting for the implementation of referendum through peaceful action and nonviolence. It is really preposterous when military personnel the terrorize, intimidate, and kidnap the pro- referendum civilians.

Referendum Is Not A Ghost

In fact, what is happening in Aceh since 1999 until now is cases frequently occurring in the Military Operation Era (DOM 1989-1998), and not so different as what happened in East Timor. However, the ongoing repressive military operation in Aceh very intense quantitatively and qualitatively.  And even, the repressive operation done transparently. 

Every body inviting Aceh country ca see the culture of Indonesian military operation in eradicating critical potentiality and people’s democratic aspiration. They are absolutely brutal!. In the field, an evidence concerning with the hatred of military personnel against Acehnese people, especially those who are pro- referendum struggle-is the tradition of Central Government and military viewing every unfamiliar thing is a ghost. 

In fact, referendum and independence term are not strange thing and are not against any law, including Islamic law, and Indonesian law itself. In other countries, referendum as a direct democracy practice is a common thing and is frequently conducted to make certain decisions, including the case of determining the status and the future of any country.

Therefore, SIRA demands that Central Government and it military power be not allergic to Acehnese demanding for referendum, and independence. Referendum and independence terms are not a ghost taking government and military personnel as their preys. For Acehnese people, referendum is a democratic culture that can be practiced to this very moment, such as electing a religious leader, and a village leader.

Conversely, referendum conducting needs to be promoted as a democratic solution to resolve humanitarian and political crisis in Aceh comprehensively. Moreover, the Central Government and military personnel please do not even dream about winning by intimidating, torturing and killing Acehnese civilians. Violence, in any form, will never ever defeat peaceful, democratic, and civilized people power.

Banda Aceh, March 5, 2000

Muhammad Nazar
Chairman of Presidium Board

Cc :
1. National Police Chief of The Republic of Indonesia (Kapolri) in Jakarta
2. Commander in Chief of Indonesian Army Forces (Panglima TNI) in Jakarta
3. Head of House Representative Council of The Republic of Indonesia (DPR) in Jakarta
4. Head of People’s Consultative Assembly of The Republic of Indonesia (MPR) in Jakarta
5. Human Rights Minister in Jakarta
6. Foreign Countries Embassies in Jakarta
7. Human Rights High Commission in Geneva
8. Governor of Aceh in Banda Aceh
9. Head of Local House of Representative Council (DPR D TK I) in Banda Aceh
10. Regional Police Chief (Kapolda) in Banda Aceh
11. Regiment Commandant of 011 Lilawangsa (Korem 011) in Lhokseumawe
12. Regiment Commandant of 012 Teuku Umar (Korem 012) in Banda Aceh
13. Institutions for Advocacy, Human Rights, Democracy, Peace and Empowerment at Local, National and International Level
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