Acehnese activists rally in support of draft law

Aceh Kita – April 21, 2006
Students rally in support of Draft Law on Aceh Governance (goaceh)
Students rally in support of Draft Law on Aceh Governance (goaceh)

Radzie, Banda Aceh – Hundreds of activists from the Acehnese Democratic Network (JDA), students and local people held a parade though the streets of Banda Aceh on Friday April 21. The convoy was organised to convey their support for the Draft Law on an Aceh Government (RUU-PA) that is currently being deliberated by a special committee of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Jakarta.

The convoy, which was held following Friday prayers, made use of dozens motorbikes and motorised pedicabs. The rally followed a route through Blang Padang, Jl. Teuku Umar, Lamteumen, Pendopo, Simpang Surabaya, Jambo Tape, Simpang Mesra and Simpang Lima, ending in front of the Baiturrahman Great Mosque.

During the rally, the activists gave speeches supporting the Acehnese Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) version of the RUU-PA. When the protesters were gathered at the Simpang Lima roundabout, Rahmad Jailani from Student Solidarity for the People (SMUR) read out a statement.

Jailani said that the deliberations on the draft law have entered a critical stage with agreement that a number of crucial issues in the law are to be discussed by working committee. “The importance issues representing the wishes of the Acehnese are currently confronting a political test at the DPR. In fact these issues concern problems of justice and the people’s welfare as a manifestation of the peace process for the advance and betterment of the Acehnese people”, said Jailani speaking though a sound system.

He also added that if the law fulfills the Acehnese people’s wishes it will be an entry point towards a peace that is just and that addresses welfare issues in Aceh. “However if crucial articles and [issue that] determine the welfare of Acehnese people are debated and fail to be agreed to, then it will almost certainly threaten the Aceh peace process”, he said.

The head of the RUU-PA Advocacy Team from the Acehnese DPRD, Abdullah Saleh meanwhile, said that the DPR’s special team is currently discussing around 600 items from a list of 1,446 contentious issues. The crucial items will be discussed at the level of a working committee. “Such as the question of Acehnese authority, the sharing of natural resources and the issue of a name for the law”, Saleh said when speaking with journalists at the Acehnese DPRD on Friday April 21. [dzie]

[Translated by James Balowski.]