DAPSY regrets the Indonesian military attacks on Aceh and urge a return to the negotiation process
by John Chung
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): DAPSY regrets the decision of the Indonesian government to launch military attacks on Aceh separatists fighting for independence. The use of force can only result in further bloodshed and unnecessary loss of civilian lives in a longstanding conflict that have left more than 10,000 dead.
We join the chorus of world leaders who have urged the Indonesian government to immediately stop the military offensive and resume the process of peace talks. We believe that the use of force should always be the last resort only when all avenues of diplomatic means have been exhausted. Indeed, the military action could have been averted if the Indonesian government was willing to give serious thought to the holding of a referendum for the people of Aceh to determine its own future in line with the spirit of democracy.
On this issue, the Malaysian government as a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ought to take a firm stand to oppose the military action. The Malaysians for Peace anti-war movement which had so loudly protested the war on Iraq in particular should also break its strange silence and speak out against the military invasion on Aceh.
* John Chung, DAPSY International Secretary