Thousands of Aceh students demand draft law be ratified

Source – April 30, 2006
Students demand government ratify Draft Law on Aceh Government (Sumugah)
Students demand government ratify Draft Law on Aceh Government (Sumugah)

Nur Raihan, Banda Aceh – Thousands of students from universities across the Acehnese provincial capital of Banda Aceh held a demonstration at the Baiturrahman Great Mosque on Sunday April 30. They were demanding that the government immediately ratify the Draft Law on Aceh Government (RUU-PA).

The students held a long-march from their respective campuses carrying banners, crosses and the flags of their respective universities and student organisations. “Ratify the RUU-PA, What’s the Problem” read one of the banners.

Dozens of police could be seen on guard at a number of intersections in the city and despite the large number of protesters the action proceeded in an orderly manner.

On arriving at the Baiturrahman Mosque, representatives from each of the campuses gave speeches for around half-an-hour after which the students disbanded.

The House of Representatives is currently discussing the RUU-PA. According to the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Free Aceh Movement and the Indonesian government the draft law should have been completed by March at the latest. But going into May the draft has still not been ratified. The continued delays will also result in delays to the election of regional heads in Aceh. (nrl)

[Translated by James Balowski.]