Thursday, June 19, 2014

Aceh’s three Provinces . . . the answer to Jakarta’s prayers?

I asked J. why he thought that a Jokowi win would result in Aceh splitting into “three provinces.”

Here’s his response:

It happened a while ago.  And of course 3 provinces mean 3 governors. There would be some districts in the west and south that would be called ABAS province. Banda Aceh and all the east area would form “Aceh province.”  Bener Meriah, Takengon and Gayo Luwes would be named ALA province. People from that geographical area were willing to separate themselves from the territory of Aceh and have their own governor and government. But this idea was never approved by Jakarta and parliament. Now it seems that JOKOWI has gotten many party supporters to agree that idea, and many members of parliament are now from Megawati’s party. Some members of he proposed ALA province area won seats on the legislature last month. So it looks like the political atmosphere will be changed a little bit in Aceh, but it will still be under control by Jakarta.

It is strange that the issue of 3 Provinces does not sit well with Jakarta because it is the answer to everyone's prayers. Divide and conquer. Banda could continue to be the most corrupt place in Indonesia and keep its violence to itself, while the other two provinces might be able to get on with business and settle down and become economically viable. A nice dream, anyway.

J goes on:

In Aceh and in my conversation with friends, some people in Aceh are still quite traumatized by the past conflict, and Prabowo is considered a criminal in Aceh. But I think for most people Prabowo’s issue of being a war criminal is secondary. There many people who have said that they will not vote for either candidate.  I have heard others say, “Neither will produce a change for Aceh or for our lives.”


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