I'll Take The High Road.
Whilst my mind has been on higher ground, Indcoup
has got to the bottom of things with his comment on the pending caning of an Acehnese guy found consorting after dark with a French aid worker.Banda Aceh city police chief Zulkarnaen said the ex-negotiator of the now disbanded Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the woman were caught in a parked car around midnight on Monday night by residents in Lambhuk village.
Now that's all very well, but will the police help Oxfam
who have been forced to shut down some of its operations in Aceh because they have discovered through an internal audit that funds have been embezzled? Nine months ago Oxfam were complaining that NGOs lacked accountability
, so it's pleasing to note that they have reacted with promptness and transparency in this instance.
Aceh, of course, lives under sharia
law so those of us who prefer a degree of personal choice in our lives don't go there. We've been worried by the seeming subversive attempts by a minority of fundamentalist Muslim politicians to punish those of us who don't share their brand of misogyny and bigotry, but it would appear that the tide has turned. The proposed Anti-Pornography Law, if it is ever enacted, will target materials rather than people
Pressure needs to be maintained, but the government, which is 'independent' of the House of Representatives in terms of decision making, has demonstrated that it is on the people's side. To my mind, this has been the first time that, without recourse to violence, proposed legislation has been successfully defeated by the people, largely of course, because politicians have been listening to their constituents.
The Balinese have been the most vocal in their opposition and I am amused somewhat by their suggestion that the Balinese are the true Indonesians
.The room fell into an uneasy silence as Satria Naradha, one of the most influential community figures in Bali, made a point to the visiting members of the House of Representative's special committee on the pornography bill.
"Bali will never betray Indonesia, we will never secede. Instead, we shall fight until the end any group that is trying to subvert the nation into a monolithic society based on the teachings of one single religious belief," he stressed.
"If Jakarta and Aceh want to betray the republic (by suppressing religious freedom and multiculturalism) then we will let them go (from the republic). Bali will not go away, we will fight to keep this nation as a nation that respects religious freedom and celebrates multiculturalism," he said.