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Reporter Allan Nairn on Aceh, Tsunami & the Indonesian Military

category international | anti-war | other press author Thursday January 06, 2005 19:52author by redjade Report this post to the editors

[The Indonesian Military] are continuing to attack villages, more than a dozen villages in East Aceh

''The military is also impeding the flow of aid. They’ve commandeered a hanger at the Banda Aceh airport, where they are taking control of internationally shipped in supplies. We just got a report this afternoon that the distribution of supplies is being done in some towns and villages only to people who hold the ‘red and white,’ which is a special ID card issued to Acehnese by the Indonesian police. You have to go to a police station to get one of these ID cards, and it is only issued to people who the police certify as not being opponents of the army, not being critics of the government. Of course many people are afraid to go and apply for such a card.''

sevenoaksmag.com: A number of activist groups in the United States have concerns that the Indonesian government will hamper disaster relief efforts, and also that they will exploit the situation to further repress Acehnese political activists. Do you know of, or see evidence of this taking place in Aceh?

Allan Nairn: Well, the Indonesian military is doing that as we speak. They are continuing to attack villages, more than a dozen villages in East Aceh and North Aceh away from the coast, even though General Susilo, the president of Indonesia, announced that they would be lifting the state of siege. He hasn’t actually done it. And an Indonesian military spokesman came out and said, ‘we will keep attacking until the President tells us to stop.’

The military is also impeding the flow of aid. They’ve commandeered a hanger at the Banda Aceh airport, where they are taking control of internationally shipped in supplies. We just got a report this afternoon that the distribution of supplies is being done in some towns and villages only to people who hold the ‘red and white,’ which is a special ID card issued to Acehnese by the Indonesian police. You have to go to a police station to get one of these ID cards, and it is only issued to people who the police certify as not being opponents of the army, not being critics of the government. Of course many people are afraid to go and apply for such a card.

[....]

sevenoaksmag.com: What are some of the connections between U.S. corporate interests and the Indonesian military repression in Aceh?

Allan Nairn: There’s one main connection, and that’s Exxon Mobil. Their natural gas facility dominates the Acehnese economy, by way of extraction. They also have Indonesian troops garrisoned on their property. The Exxon Mobil company pays protection money to the Indonesian military and the military buries bodies of its victims on Exxon Mobil lands. The revenues from Exxon Mobil are a mainstay of the Jakarta central government. Not much of it finds its way back to Aceh.

→ from http://www.sevenoaksmag.com/questions/45.html

Also read: Allan Nairn past writings...
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Foreign_Policy/AllanNairn_page.html

Indonesia's Killers
by Allan Nairn
The Nation magazine, March 30, 1998
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Foreign_Policy/IndonesiasKillers_Nairn.html

author by fenobipublication date Thu Jan 06, 2005 23:59Report this post to the editors

via Friends of the Earth Europe

Related Link: http://www.eng.walhi.or.id/kampanye/bencana/tsunami_appeal2
author by Bandungpublication date Fri Jan 07, 2005 00:14Report this post to the editors

For more imformation about Indonesian militarys attempt to use the terrible humanitarian diaster to their advantage see the website of the liberation movement of the Achenese people, the Aceh Freedom Movement (GAM).

http://www.asnlf.com/topint.htm

author by fenobipublication date Fri Jan 07, 2005 17:52Report this post to the editors

DONATE!

Via Campesina is calling for solidarity with those affected by the
tsunami disaster, channelling assistance to affected fishing
communities and peasants, for their own relief and construction
efforts, through grassroots organisations. They are asking for
your donations for direct emergency support to provide basic
needs. For anyone doing benefit gigs or with larger donations,
check out their website,
http://www.viacampesina.org/art_english.php3?id_article=500



Also, TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign works with a
number of grassroots humanitarian and human rights organisations
in Aceh and is launching an appeal so that funds can be used by
them to optimum effect where it is most needed by local people.
http://www.tapol.gn.apc.org/st041230.htm

author by redjadepublication date Fri Jan 14, 2005 00:37Report this post to the editors

ALLAN NAIRN: Well, Colin Powell announced that the U.S. would be supplying spare parts for C-130 transport planes ostensibly to help with the relief effort, the Indonesian military transport planes. Within days of Powell making this announcement, it came out that the Indonesian military, which had previously used these planes to transport the goods looted from East Timor, as they were destroying East Timor in 1999 to take thousands of Timorese civilian prisoners out after the 1999 campaign of slaughter in Timor, which previously have been used to drop paratroops over Aceh, were now used just in the past week to bring members of two Bin Laden affiliated Indonesian groups, the FPI and the MMI, the Islamic Defenders Front and the Islamic Mujahadin Council, they flew them up to Aceh, ostensibly to help in the relief effort. These groups were created or – well the FPI was in part created by the Indonesian armed forces, and the MMI has received backing from Indonesian military intelligence at various points. The MMI includes Laskar Jihad a group the went into Malukus and helped spark sectarian fighting between Muslim and Christian peasants, Muslim and Christian militias, in which thousands were killed. This was done to create chaos, which the Indonesian military could then take advantage of. And these groups are openly connected to Bin Laden and espouse that ideology.

AMY GOODMAN: You're saying that the Indonesian military has brought them into Aceh now, actually flown them in?

ALLAN NAIRN: Yes, they brought them into Aceh. Some of them are walking around with Bin Laden T-shirts. They go up to foreign reporters and present themselves as Acehnese even though they are not, and James Kelly of the U.S. State Department just said, there's worry that such militants might attack U.S. troops. Well simultaneously Powell was announcing the U.S. is going to aid the Indonesian military, one of the rationales being the Indonesian military is needed to fight such Bin Laden-style military.

Related Link: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/10/1456248
 
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