ST Pramono, Jakarta – An Acehnese member from the Joint Forum of the National and Regional House of Representatives, Ferry Mursyidan Baldan, says that the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) report on the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) must be accompanied by evidence. “If it is not factual, it’s difficult to believe”, said Baldan at the national parliament in Jakarta on Tuesday February 14.
The issue of independent candidates was assessed by BIN as a means for GAM to seek strategic positions in Aceh. Baldan says this assessment is excessive. “Independent candidates are not only explicitly for former GAM members but other people as well”, said the politician from the Golkar Party. According to Baldan his faction will continue to struggle for the inclusion of independent candidates in the Draft Law on a Government for Aceh.
In a document received by Tempo, BIN said it believes that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and GAM is only a transitional step in achieving Acehnese independence. BIN also believes that GAM’s demand for local political parties and independent candidates is to win strategic positions in Aceh that will then struggle for independence for the Gateway to Mecca (Aceh).
Baldan said that the MoU basically represents a position of joint trust between the government and GAM. According to Baldan the MoU’s aim is to end efforts at separatism in Aceh and that if there are parties that act inconsistently with the agreement then it is tantamount to impairing the MoU. “Such inconsistent positions can be conveyed to the Aceh Monitoring Mission”, he said.
[Translated by James Balowski.]