Welcome - Välkommen
Not a day passes in Aceh without the sound of gunfire. Last week, nearly every day saw another casualty.
The year 2000 had actually brought a shed of light, when Geneva truce was reached. But this beautiful, sweet brand was in fact not able to trade the grief, fear, tension, and even the victims as in the end of 1999.
''You name any human rights violations, Aceh has it. If anybody wants to research human rights violation, Aceh would be a perfect place to go.''
"Look at us, look at what has happened here. Our families are destroyed, our husbands and sons gone. How will our children grow up with all this trauma?"
"Let the Acehnese decide what they want, but how can there be one (a referendum) when there is no peace," Husaini told Reuters.
Darwisah lost her father when she was still very small. Nobody knows where her father, Ibrahim Sulaiman, is buried. Her father was allegedly killed by the military when Aceh was still a military operation zone. "Even our house was burned to the ground," she said with grief clearly showing on her face.
Blood on Mecca´s Veranda
In Aceh, scenes such as these have become all too commonplace. Civilian casualties mount each day. Thousands of lives have been lost since troops in the military operation areas (DOM) were withdrawn leading up to the recent Aceh People's Congress.
Of Pain and Humiliation
"If a referendum is allowed in East Timor, why not in Aceh? That won't be justice." That was President Abdurrahman Wahid's first response to the mass rally at the Great Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh on Nov. 8, which demanded a referendum.
Alarm in Acheh
The people will not accept special autonomy. They all want independence," insists Faisal. "If the referendum is not held, we're worried that there will be a revolution. The people will run amok, or there will be war."
Indonesian army massacred unarmed civilians in Acheh
The villagers were then allegedly lined up and sprayed with bullets, leaving at least 51 people dead, including Bantaqiah. Swedish-Ache
Placing GAM on a list of "terrorist" organisation would be a shame!
If so, we should also recall that Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist, as was East Timor's Xanana Gusmao. The British thought a military leader named GeorgeWashington was a terrorist. Not bad company, I think. Shadia Marhaban
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