Press release

Fragile archipelago
Indonesia's profile

SIRA strongly denies involvement in Jakarta bombing

JAKARTA; May 13 In a statement issued in Banda Acheh on 11 May, 2001, SIRA, the Information Centre for a Referendum in Acheh has strongly denied police claims that it was behind the bombing in Jakarta on Friday of a student hostel inhabited by Achenese students.

SIRA's statement




  'The NKRI forces have lost all sense of reason in face of SIRA which continues to show its commitment to a peaceful struggle for a referendum in Acheh.'   UMEROUS TRAGIC EVENTS have been occurring, shootings by the Indonesian armed forces, including the shooting dead of Jafar Siddiq, Professor Safwan Idris, Nashiruddin Daud MP, the killing of RATA volunteers, and most recently, the shooting dead of H.T Djohan. All these victims had been deeply concerned to defend the interests of the Achenese. The objective in all these tragedies is to strike down Achenese thinkers and intellectuals.

Now the armed forces of the NKRI (Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia) are turning SIRA into their main enemy. The police allegation that SIRA may have been involved in the bombing of the Achenese student
hostel is  quite ludicrous. This is a deliberate strategy by anti-SIRA forces to discredit the referendum campaign. Such an allegation is a clear sign of the incompetence of the police, by scapegoating SIRA.. The police are exerting every effort to silence SIRA and isolate it on all sides. The NKRI forces have lost all sense of reason in face of SIRA which continues to show its commitment to a peaceful struggle for a referendum in Acheh.

We hereby categorically state, the SIRA statement sent on, that we do not use violence and have never tried to practice anything of the sort. 'We have no connection whatsoever with this bombing.'  The NKRI forces seem
never to tire in their acts of violence against the people of Acheh; if this continues, they will have to confront the international community.

SIRA's struggle is not concerned to comply with the wishes of the NKRI forces. This is not the first time that these forces have tried to blacken the name of SIRA, they have accused us in the past of running a bomb factory with assistance from abroad. It simply makes no sense to suggest that SIRA would plant a bomb in a hostel accommodated by Achenese students.

SIRA calls on Achenese people wherever they may be to show vigilance and not to be provoked by efforts to discredit and silence SIRA.

The statement was issued by Ridwan Haji Mukhtar of the Central Presidium Council of SIRA.

      SIRA releases a statement

1. SIRA-Jakarta strongly condemns this explosion which resulted in the deaths of three persons living at the hostel and several others being wounded, and has led to a souring of local opinion in the vicinity about the presence of Achenese there.

2. SIRA-Jakarta expresses deepest condolences to the relatives of those who died in the explosion and sympathies to the other victims.

3. SIRA Jakarta deeply regrets the way in which persons have been detained and interrogated without being assisted by  legal counsel which makes it possible for force to have been used by the detaining authorities and those conducting the interrogations.

4. SIRA-Jakarta strongly condemned the planted evidence and misleading statements regarding this event and states that documents now being used as evidence are nothing more that SIRA statements, recommendations and other things which have already been made known to the public.

5. SIRA Jakarta strongly denies official claims by the Jakarta Police and states that the statements by several witnesses are expremely suspect and were made by persons who were not assisted by lawyers and who have no connection whatsoever with SIRA. This casts serious doubt on the reliability of the statements alleging that SIRA was involved in the explosion at the Achenese students' hostel.

6. SIRA-Jakarta categorically states that SIRA-Jakarta is in no way connected with the tragedy and rejects the one-sided claims by the security forces which have had an extremely damaging effect on the struggle being
waged by SIRA for peaceful efforts in support of the aspirations of the Achenese people. SIRA therefore demands that the national police force and the Jakarta military command which have issued these misleading statements should immediately apologise and restore the good name of SIRA.

Jakarta, Kamis 12 Mei 2001.
Ketua SIRA Konsulat Jakarta-Raya,

Faisal Saifuddin

Copies to:
     1. UN Secretary-General,New York
     2. President RI di Jakarta
     3. President Free Acheh in Sweden
     4. All embassies in Jakarta
     5. Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Jakarta
     6. PBHI, Jakarta
     7. All SIRA offices at home and abroad.
     8. YLBHI in Jakarta
     9. KONTRAS in Jakarta
     10. Pro demokracy NGOs in Indonesia
     11. Hendry Dunant Center in Banda Acheh
     12. The press
      This statement (slightly abridged) was issued on 12 May by SIRA-Jakarta with regard to the exploision at "Yayasan Kesejahteraan Mahasiswa Iskandar Muda", the Achenese student's hostel in Jakarta, on 10 May 2001


      The article is distributed by Tapol in London
Related stories
See also
Not Worth Saving
In depth
Achenese Struggle Monument