Luhur Hertanto, Jakarta – The problem of security is not the only stumbling block to holding the 2004 general elections in Aceh. Public apathy is also expected to be a major problem.
Nur Raihan, Banda Aceh – As many as 13,996 TNI (Indonesian armed forces) members and police officers will be involved in securing election stations during the 2004 general elections in Aceh. The type of security which will be employed at the polling stations will be different from other regions in Indonesia.
Denpasar – TNI-AD (army) chief General Ryamizard Ryacudu has again reminded his officers to take a neutral stand in the coming elections, and not take sides with any of the political parties.
Jakarta – Syamsudin Haris, a political observer from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), predicts that 60-70 per cent of old politicians will win seats in the People’s Representative Assembly in the 2004 elections.
Fedhly Averouss Bey, Jakarta – The University of Indonesia (UI) Student Executive Council (BEM) together with BEMs throughout Indonesia have formed the National Student Alliance in the lead up to the 2004 general elections which has the aim of ensuring the elections are luber (direct, open, free and confidential), jurdil (honest and fair) and free of money politics.
Jakarta – At least 1732 state civil servants from a number of departments are still members or heads of political parties. This violates Government Regulation Number 13/1999 on State Civil Servants which is an enhancement of Government Regulation Number 5/1999. According to the regulation, civil servants who become members or heads of political parties must resign as civil servants.
Jakarta – The total number of foreign intelligence agents in Indonesia is far greater than the estimation given by the army chief of staff General Ryamizard Ryacudu who said that there are 60,000 people.
Jakarta – There is concern that the organisation of the general elections in Aceh will face a number of serious complications because there are a number of contradictory legal stipulations which cannot be resolved in terms of laws which regulate a military emergency and those which regulate elections.
Kompas – A reexamination, evaluation and refinement of People’s Representative Assembly (MPR) Decree Number VI/MPR/1999 and MPR Decree Number VII/MPR/1999 is being carried out by the department of defense and members of the People’s Representative Assembly (DPR).
Rizal Maslan, Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch director, Munir, has said that the statement by army chief General Ryamizard Ryacudu that 60,000 foreign agents have entered Indonesia in order to weaken the military represents an endeavour to create new tensions. This could also damage foreign diplomatic relations.
Jakarta – In Jakarta on Thursday December 25, army chief of staff General Ryamizard Ryacudu, explained that army intelligence has obtained indications that the 2004 elections will be tainted by disturbances. He gave the example of the 60,000 foreign agents from large foreign countries which are in Indonesia at the moment. According to Ryacudu this may disrupt the coming elections.
M. Rizal Maslan, Jakarta – Army chief Ryamizard Ryacudu has again said that at least 60,000 foreign agents have entered Indonesia. According to Ryacudu, these foreign agents are linked with a modern war plan to weaken the role of the TNI (armed forces) and to play people off against each other.
Jakarta – President Megawati Sukarnoputri has questioned the motives behind the assumptions which have been made about the organisation of the 2004 general elections which claim they will be susceptible to turmoil and disturbances.
Jakarta – There has been almost no meaningful progress in the functioning or political performance of the executive, legislative and judicial institutions in 2003, either at the national or local level.
Jakarta – The TNI-AD (the army) sincerely hopes that the 2004 elections will proceed safely, smoothly and orderly. TNI-AD has no wish for the festival of democracy, which will be crucial in determining the course of the nation for at least the next five years, to turn bloody as a result of conflict between the children of the nation for the sake of the ambitions of certain groups.
Jakarta – Human rights violations perpetrated in 2003 cannot be separated from military control, particularly the army. The government of President Megawati Sukarnoputri has not worked as hard as its predecessors, like [former presidents] B.J. Habibie and Abdurrahman Wahid to control the TNI [Indonesian armed forces].
Banda Aceh – The involvement of civil society in efforts to fight the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) are becoming increasingly enthusiastic in a number of regencies in Aceh.
Fedhly Averouss Bey, Jakarta – The Centre for Electoral Reform (Cetro) and Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) have stated that they reject holding the 2004 general elections in Aceh while it is under the status of a military emergency. At the very least there needs to be a break in the military emergency if [the government] still wishes to organise elections in Aceh.
Jakarta – On Wednesday December 10, hundreds of students, youths and non-government organisation activists, victims of land evictions and farmers came out into the streets to commemorate world human rights day.
Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta – As well as Jakarta, lively actions to commemorate world human rights day were also held in other parts of the country.