Nur Raihan, Banda Aceh – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says that the extension of the civil emergency in Aceh is necessary if only to maintain continuity and to provide space for a just and dignified resolution to the Aceh problem.
This was conveyed by the president in a discussion with around 100 ulamas (Islamic religious leaders) and public figures at the Anjong Mon Mata Building in the governor’s housing complex on Friday November 25. “The best road for Aceh is a comprehensive special autonomy”, he asserted.
Yudhoyono added that another possible solution for Aceh to give amnesty to Free Aceh Movement (GAM) members who are prepared to reunite with the Republic of Indonesia. Yudhoyono promised to speak with the People’s Consultative Assembly on the issue.
Furthermore he continued, development in Aceh must have concrete goals and be in accordance with special autonomy in terms of economic, social and religious development. If all of this is done said Yudhoyono, he would not need to extend the civil emergency in Aceh again.
He also hopes that the ulamas, members of the provincial parliament and all layers of society will invite GAM to sit together. “God willing and with God’s blessing and conviction together we can achieve that solution”, said Yudhoyono.
Yudhoyono’s entourage arrived at the governor’s audience hall at around 11am and the meeting lasted more that an hour. Yudhoyono arrived accompanied with his wife, Kristiani and a number of government ministers including the Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, retired Admiral Widodo AS, Armed Forces Chief General Endriartono Sutarto, National Police Chief Da’i Bachtiar, the Minister for Communication and Information Sofyan A. Djalil and the Minister for Social Affairs, Cachtiar Chamsyah.
Following the discussion, Yudhoyono joined in Friday prayers at the Raya Baiturrahman Mosque after which he had lunch at the governor’s official residence and at 3pm was scheduled to return to Jakarta. (aan)
[Translated by James Balowski.]