Subject: LIFSLIPO: stop military operation in Acheh...

Please find below a translation of a statement put out by a new youth group in East Timor, LIFSLIPO on the Aceh military operations, which was read out at a protest outside the Indonesian Embassy in Dili on August 17.






Before we convey our statement of opinion, we would like to convey our condolences regards the death of a KUKRI diplomat who was assigned in East Timor. And we also do not forget to congratulate Indonesia on its 58th anniversary of independence.

Upon entering the 60th day of the "integrated" military operation, approximately more than 300 ordinary civilians have been killed. The Integrated Operation was approved by the DPR (People’s Representative Council) and MPR (People’s Consultative Council) in Presidential Decision No.28, 2003 and will be implemented in the next six months, with an outlay of funds totaling 1.7 trillion rupiah, or approximately 200 million USD. If we do the mathematics, there are still 120 days of slaughter left. We must imagine this in the context of the fact that 300 civilians have already lost their lives. This does not include the victims of loss of property and other wealth, as well as the burning down of schools and public places. The two warring sides, GAM and TNI accuse and blame each other of wrongs. Who is it really that is killing ordinary people? Who????

Aceh!!! There is at this moment occurring a large, unfair war. We can see this in the sophisticated military equipment used by TNI and POLRI, like guns made in America and Britain, amphibious tanks, war ships and squadrons of combat planes. All of these weapons have been sent to Aceh to wipe out the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), that is fighting with only ordinary guns. There are already approximately 50 000 TNI and POLRI troops that have been sent to Aceh to implement the operation, and this is still to increase with an additional 30 000 TNI and 10 000 Brimob (mobile police brigade). TheTNI and POLRI that are in Aceh are commandeered by Generals like Kiki Syanakri, Tono Suratman and Adam Damiri.

Seeing the tears of an old woman that has lost her son…a woman that has lost her husband…a child that has lost his father…what is being done by the military in Aceh and West Papua and other areas of Indonesia are crimes against humanity, and they remind us of the bitter memory of the Indonesian military occupation in East Timor that lasted for 24 years. Thus for this reason, we, the student and young people solidarity activists of East Timor call for:

The Indonesian government to immediately cease the military operation in Aceh!!! The Indonesian government to immediately resolve the Aceh issue peacefully and without violence!!! To free those civilians that have been arbitrarily arrested and detained!!!

We, the student and young people activists of East Timor, do not want to establish ties with a government that does not respect human rights…a government that is ruled by an authoritarian military regime…a government that protects perpetrators of human rights abuses…and an undemocratic and totalitarian government!!!

If military might is used to solve the problem of Aceh, in the future Indonesia will consist only of the island of Java. On its 58th anniversary of independence, all the people of Indonesia should be reflecting within themselves, looking in the mirror, and looking at their hands, to see if those hands are still covered in blood. The Indonesian people should be celebrating their anniversary of independence in an atmosphere of peace, not in an atmosphere of slaughter, as is currently occurring in Aceh.

The military may be able to win a war, but can never win peace in Indonesia!!

Dili, 17th of August 2003

Demonstration Coordinator Sisto dos Santos

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