Aceh students protest again in support of draft Aceh law

Aceh Kita – May 1, 2006
Student Concern Alliance for Aceh Peace protest (remet89)
Student Concern Alliance for Aceh Peace protest (remet89)

Banda Aceh – Acehnese students have again demonstrated – this time in greater numbers – in the thousands. The students, who came from the Student Concern Alliance for Aceh Peace (Aliansi Mahasiswa Peduli Perdamaian Aceh, AMPPA) started the demonstration on the morning of Sunday April 30 with march from the Darussalam University campus towards Simpang Lima in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.

The students were demanding the immediate ratification of the Draft Law on Aceh Government (RUU-PA). Student representatives came from all parts of Aceh including Banda Aceh, Lhokseumawe, Bireuen, Meulaboh, Sabang and Langsa.

Rahmat Djailani, one of the action coordinators, said that the action was held to oversea the RUU-PA that is currently being deliberated in Jakarta. “These actions will continue to be held as an effort to create pressure so that the RUU-PA can be immediately ratified”, he said.

According to Djailani, concerns have surfaced such as the potential for riots along with [claims] of foul play if the deliberations on the RUU-PA keep being postponed and continue to take more and more time. “If its ratification continues to be postponed, we will mobilise even more protesters, possibly even the entire Acehnese people”, said Djailani.

The demonstration began at around 10am and ended at 1.30pm. The protest was peaceful and disbursed in the area around the Banda Aceh Baiturrahaman Great Mosque. A number of police officers guarded the protest from the Darussalam campus to Simpang Lima. (Adw)

[Translated by James Balowski.]