Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Treat Terror Threats With Caution

Monday 21 February, 2005
Press release # 7


The sources of yesterday’s warning from the Australian Foreign Minister that humanitarian aid workers face an imminent threat of terrorist attacks need to be analysed and treated with caution, says Caritas Emergencies Officer, Tim Chiswell, recently returned from Aceh.

“Certainly there are periodic real threats against foreigners in Indonesia and since the tsunami the arrival of groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front and the Indonesian Mujahadin Council in Aceh has compounded that situation. That is why agencies such as Caritas have well thought out security procedures in place”, says Mr Chiswell. “But this is also a complex situation and there are many agendas at work. There are those who have an interest in propagating fear and promoting a withdrawal of international humanitarian workers from Aceh.”

Prior to the 26th December, civil emergency legislation in Indonesia decreed that Aceh was effectively under military rule and was off limits to journalists, human rights workers, and most expatriates. While this was relaxed shortly after the tsunami, barely a fortnight later, the Indonesian vice-President Jusuf Kalla announced that foreign troops should leave, and this message has been repeated regularly.

“The international presence in Aceh has been very important, not only in the delivery of humanitarian aid, but also in bolstering the space in which local Aceh organisations and the media have to report on the situation. This is a huge change from the period of Martial Law and it would be disastrous if unverified threats of potential terrorist attacks were to undermine that change,” says Mr Chiswell.

“Any heightened concern on security will also likely lead to a strengthened military operation in Aceh. This will further reduce the prospects of a clear return to civilian government which is the main hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict”.

“While Australia is unlikely to reveal the source of its intelligence it is vital that these be investigated thoroughly and not taken at face value. Even the US government, often a source of intelligence for the Australians, has questioned whether there is any heightened risk of terror attacks. So has the Indonesian Government”

“During my visit, it was absolutely clear that the Acehnese people very much want international presence to stay, and as far as possible, we should aim to do that”, says Mr Chiswell.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news