Differences over past rights violations in Aceh expected to be sharp

Kompas – December 15, 2005
Students in Aceh call for formation of Truth and Justice Commission (Tribune)
Students in Aceh call for formation of Truth and Justice Commission (Tribune)

Jakarta – It is expected that the provisions on resolving human rights violations in Aceh will again attract sharp debate in dissuasions on the Draft Law on the Organisation of a Government for Aceh.

The provisions in the draft law that have already been completed by the Aceh Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) are indeed ideal and considered to be most appropriate in order to resolve past issues. On the other hand however, it is also understood that it will attract resistance from those groups with different interests.

In the DPRD’s version of the draft, it states that the government will form a human rights court and a truth and reconciliation commission (KKR) in Aceh within one year after the legislation is ratified. If there are no guarantees that a fair investigation process can be conducted in cases of gross human rights violations, the government shall provide an opportunity for a special rapporteur and/or other officials from the United Nations to enter Acehnese territory. These provisions are not found in the department of domestic affair’s Draft X version of the law.

On Wednesday December 14, House of Representatives Commission II member, Nasir Djamil (Justice and Prosperity Party faction, Aceh I) who is currently in Kupang, said that the heavy debate of the provisions cannot be allowed to disrupt the peace process. It is all very well to fight for ideal provisions on resolving the past that are followed by the formation of a human rights court or KKR, but it is certain that there will be resistance from those groups who feel threatened.

It has been said that there is concern that this debate will continue until in the end it becomes a stumbling block in resolving the Aceh conflict. For example, as the past is dug up, new wounds will arise, rubbing salt into the wounds again, said Djamil. (DIK)

[Translated by James Balowski.]