2500 people to demonstrate against military emergency in Aceh

Detik.com – November 8, 2003
Protesters from Aceh and West Papua rally in Jakarta (Getty Images)
Protesters from Aceh and West Papua rally in Jakarta (Getty Images)

Hestiana Dharmastuti, Jakarta – Around 2500 people from Aceh Papua Solidarity (Solidaritas Aceh Papua, SAP) will hold a demonstration rejecting the extension of the military emergency in Aceh. The demonstrators will hold a long march from the Hotel Indonesia roundabout to the offices of the Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security and the Presidential Palace.

This action, which will have the theme “People’s Carnival to Oppose Militarism and to Build Solidarity with Aceh and Papua”, will be held on Saturday November 8 at 2pm. Joining the action will be scores of non-government organisations including the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, the Center for Electoral Reform (Cetro), the People’s United Opposition Party (POPOR) and the Indonesian Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI).

“We will demand that the military emergency be revoked. The six month extension of the military emergency will only add to the suffering of the Acehnese people. It would be better if the government’s approach is one of dialogue and promoting a feeling of justice”, SAP coordinator Yusuf Lakaseng told Detik.com in Jakarta.

As is normal with a carnival, some of the demonstrators which will attend will wear traditional Acehnese and Papuan clothing. As well as this, they will bring 1000 posters and hold speeches and a happening art action.

The demonstrators will also reject holding the general elections in Aceh and Papua in 2004 because the government has no policy to resolve the conflict peacefully, democratically and without military force. (aan)

[Translated by James Balowski.]