Free Aceh Movement

Thousands rally in Indonesia’s Aceh for separatist flag

Indonesian police watch a mass rally supporting the use of a separatist flag as a legitimate flag of the Aceh government, on Thursday. Photo: EPA

Thousands of demonstrators rallied in Indonesia’s Aceh on Thursday in support of local leaders’ bid to adopt a separatist flag as the staunchly Islamic province’s official emblem.

Thursday, 4 April, 2013, 4:57pm

Kidnappers free five Chinese citizens held captive in Aceh

Armed criminals have released five Chinese citizens held captive for three days in the once restive province of Aceh, where violence has again escalated in recent months.

Aceh police Brigadier Yusuf said the five were released yesterday morning.

30 Apr 2008 - 12:00am

Splitting Aceh would renew conflict, former rebel says

Analysts and a former rebel in Aceh fear there could be renewed conflict as lawmakers in Jakarta debate whether to divide the once war-torn region into smaller provinces.

25 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Bombs shake fragile Aceh peace

A struggle for post-war political and economic control of the resource-rich province of Aceh could be behind a spate of bombings that have raised tensions in the troubled region over the past few months.

4 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Fresh horizons

On May 18, 1999, amid ongoing violence in Indonesia's strife-torn province of Aceh, the Indonesian military (TNI) declared the young student Aguswandi, then a human rights activist, an enemy of the state. At the time, Aceh was riven by clashes between the TNI and rebels fighting for independence under the banner of Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM).

12 Jul 2007 - 12:00am

Soap stars turn to real life drama to ease mental scars of Aceh's war

Aceh-born Gense and Burhan, who like most Indonesians have only one name, are best known for their roles as soap stars.

But today, the two actors will drop the love and betrayal themes of the soaps to perform in their native turf in a drama about mental illnesses caused by war, a problem that cuts deep into the province where a 30-year conflict ended in August 2005.

10 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

Doubts over Aceh plan to put ex-rebels in forest jobs

In a bid to accelerate the reintegration into society of former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels, local authorities are planning to employ up to 200 of them as forest rangers.

The proposal, welcomed by government officials, worries environmentalists, doubtful of the ex-rebels' suitability to protect the province's forests, which are being depleted by illegal logging.

1 Feb 2007 - 12:00am

It's over to you, say Aceh's international peace monitors

The Aceh Monitoring Mission lowered its flag for the last time yesterday at a low-key closing ceremony.

16 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Freedom and festivity in the air on a landmark day

'That is where we register. Then we move to the long table, where we collect the papers with the pictures of the candidates, which are called ballot papers,' says Subani Suryaji, 42, as he explains to his two children - Arya, five, and Erianto, seven - the voting procedure in Aceh's first direct vote for governor.

12 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Aceh's flowering democracy yields unlikely candidate

Not long ago he was in charge of the Indonesian military operations in the former rebel province of Aceh. Now, he is asking for votes to win the seat of governor in the same province, where the military has a record of human rights abuses.

9 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Storyteller spreads message of peace

A travelling road show featuring Aceh's best-known storyteller is being used in the Indonesian province to spread the message of peace and work towards healing the wounds of the 29-year war that ended last August.

7 Jun 2006 - 12:00am

Tsunami victims interested in new homes, not politics

Inside his donated tent on the tsunami-battered shoreline outside Banda Aceh, Irfandi has a stunning ocean view and little else.

Promises of government support to rebuild his home have yet to materialise and he relies on international charities for monthly rations and fresh water.

21 Sep 2005 - 12:00am

Aceh peace deal must be made to work

As the world marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war, an agreement was signed that could bring an end to one of Asia's longest-running conflicts. The truce between the Indonesian government and separatist rebel leaders from the province of Aceh is the best chance yet of ending 29 years of bloodshed that has left at least 15,000 dead.

17 Aug 2005 - 12:00am

Healing hearts

Melody Li Mok-ching (centre) and Ashley Wong Ching-hang, both aged four, were among 100 children who joined the Playright Children's Play Association yesterday in Sha Tin to make puppets and cards for children who lost their parents in the Boxing Day tsunami in Indonesia.

4 Apr 2005 - 12:00am

Megawati extends martial law in Aceh for 6 months

Decision by Indonesian president is an admission of failure, say observers

Six months ago, when she launched martial law in the restive province of Aceh, President Megawati Sukarnoputri promised that the operation would minimise civilian casualties.

7 Nov 2003 - 12:00am