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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Indonesian Military Uses Tsunami to Quash Rebellion

From the WSWS:
There are growing signs that the Indonesian military (TNI) is exploiting the current catastrophe in northern Sumatra to crush the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and establish its unchallenged control over the resource-rich province of Aceh.

So far the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Aceh on December 26 is more than 100,000 and is likely to rise much higher. From Lhokseumawe on the east coast through the provincial capital Banda Aceh near Sumatra’s northern tip to Meulaboh on the west coast, cities and towns have been obliterated.

Transport and other infrastructure have been torn apart. Hundreds of thousands are desperately in need of water, food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. There is now a serious risk that further lives will be lost through disease and hunger.

Yet, rather than concentrating resources on emergency relief efforts, the Indonesian armed forces, with the approval of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, are preoccupied with their counterinsurgency operations against GAM fighters. While refugees are desperate for supplies and relief workers for transport, the TNI has launched offensives against GAM in various locations across the province.