Aceh students open coordination post to monitor draft law

Aceh Kita – May 9, 2006
Students protest in Banda Aceh (Tribune)
Students protest in Banda Aceh (Tribune)

Banda Aceh – Students from the Aceh Democratic Network (Jaringan Demokrasi Aceh, JDA) opened a coordination post at the Banda Aceh City Park on Tuesday May 9 to guard the Draft Law on Aceh Government (RUU-PA)

Students at the post have erected banners demanding the immediate ratification of the Acehnese version of the RUU-PA. In addition to this, they have also laid out a white cloth to collect signatures in support of the ratification of the draft law.

Many members of the public have also listed their complaints over the issue on the white cloth. The spokesperson of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) was also seen adding his signature on the petition.

Rusli Sulaiman, one of the Banda Aceh residents who took part in the signing, said he hopes that the House of Representatives (DPR) will soon ratify the draft law and that it will accommodate the wishes of the Acehnese people. “I urge [the DPR] to immediately ratify the RUU-PA”, said Sulaiman who is a former member of the Banda Aceh Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) after adding his signature to the petition.

In Sulaiman’s view, the increasing delays in the ratification of the draft law are creating uncertainty over the draft. “This is truly ironic. Is there an an attempt to slow it up, so that it will continue to fail (to be ratified)”, he asked. “We hope that the DPRD has not been lulled to sleep by the Jakarta’s gentle enticements”, he said.

The post coordinator, Rahmat Djailani meanwhile said that the post – that is located in front of the Great Baiturrahman Mosque – was established to garner the wishes and support of the Acehnese public over the RUU-PA. “The white cloth that we have prepared, can be used by the public to convey their wishes”, said Djailani when speaking with Aceh Kita.

When the cloth has been filled with signatures and comments, it will then be handed over to the DPR in Jakarta. “This will also be an attempt on our part to pressure Jakarta, so that the RUU-PA is ratified as quickly as possible in accordance with the wishes of the Acehnese people”, added the general secretary of Aceh Student Solidarity for the People (SMUR).

Student say they will keep the post open until the draft law is ratified. [dzie]

[Translated by James Balowski.]