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An E-Classic Conversation

A Javanese-Achenese with Ted Lyng of the US Embassy in Jakarta on Achenese struggle

JULY 2001
Lyng, Theodore J wrote:
Thank you for sending me this. Have I met you?





View slides of the Indonesian arm forces brutalities



  Prambuadji, Soenarjo wrote:

Dear Mr. Ted Lyng:

No, Sir. We have never met. But I knew you through a friend of mine, a student in Medan. I am an ExxonMobil retire and now living in Kembang Tanjung sub-district, Pidie Acheh. I am a Javanese but married to an Achenese woman from Kembang Tanjong. My pension fund from ExxonMobil was sufficient for my family to have two unit of medium shops; one in Beureunuen and the other in Sigli. Unfortunately the store in Beureunuen have been looted and burnt by Brimobs who ran amuck there in early of 2001.

Despite claims by government that Achenese are racist because they allegedly drive away non-Achenese migrants out of Acheh, I do not see it as true. Of course, for us as Javanese, either to join the militia formed by government or to join the GAM would equally creat problems for ourselves. There are proofs in Acheh Tengah (Central Acheh) where my Javanese colleagues, short of thought, joining the armed militia and now they are experiencing hard time because the other side considers them combatants. The same is also true for many of my Javanese colleagues in Tamiang East Acheh who join the GAM.

My Achenese neighbors treat me well. Frankly speaking, I have never had bad experience with any Achenese here. I do have grave experiences my own Javanese 'friend' in Polri and TNI. My shop was burnt and I am alternately milked out by Brimob and TNI.

Sir, I am very concerned about the situation in Acheh. I think they deserve every right to have a nation of their own as the history tells it (I studied Acheh history in my leasure time lately). The spirit of freedom of Achenese has even been very bold since they have received really brutal treatment from government security forces.

I would like to suggest one thing, if I may. The coming peace talk between RI and GAM in Geneva may, at least, produce a cease fire under tight monitoring by international community. One life is more precious than everything. If we could save lives and particularly if we have the power to do it, let my humble suggestion be a reality.

Below is an analysis from an unknown friend sent to my e-mail. I think, this analysis is very good. Please forgive if I am wrong. I thank you very much for your time reading my lengthy mail.

Soenarjo Prambuadji

To read the referred analysis, click here>>



  Below is the replied content

Lyng, Theodore J wrote:

Thank you very much for your e-mail, which I found interesting.  I hope next time I'm in Acheh we might get a chance to meet.  I rarely go to Pidie; do you ever come to Banda Acheh?

Ted Lyng

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