Friday, September 24, 2010

Indonesia - Republic of terror

Indonesia is mourning the death of three police officers, who were shot to death by a group of armed men while they were on duty at a precinct police office in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, early Wednesday morning. The incident occurred just a few days after the police arrested and killed a group of alleged terrorists in the province. We should not rule out the possibility that the rampage in Medan was just a preliminary act by the terrorist groups. It is clear that these criminals have abundant resources and the skills to realize their evil agenda.

We are obliged to share our views with the nation that the courage of the terrorists to attack the police station and open fire on the officers was a blatant humiliation of the state and the government.

The killing of the officers is a slap in the face for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s government and, unless the President proves his capability and strong political will to eradicate terrorism in the short term, our country will be included on the list of dangerous zones among the international community.

However, the government cannot win the war without wholehearted support from all layers of society. Terrorists are now knocking on our doors, while many still tend to belittle the danger of these criminals as they often hide behind religious slogans.

Indonesia has made quite significant achievements in the war against terrorism in the last few years.

However, many Indonesians still cannot accept the fact that our motherland has become fertile soil for terrorism. For many of us, the terror designation is just an irresponsible attempt by Western countries to damage Indonesia’s reputation as a tolerant, democratic, inclusive and peaceful nation. Wake up and let us confront the facts.

The terror movements have now changed their strategy. The terrorist group in Medan, which reportedly has links with other armed groups in Medan and in Java, was declared by police as responsible for the recent bank robbery in Medan, which killed a police officer.

Our nation owes the murdered officers and we must make sure that the loss of their lives will be the key momentum to bring to justice those who declare they can violate any laws and commit barbaric acts in the name of religion, faith or on any other pretext. The state is obliged not just to provide state funerals for the three officers but also ensure the sustainable welfare of their families.

We declare a total war against terror. But we should never allow ourselves to justify all means to eliminate terrorism. Terror cannot be overcome by terror, although it often looks effective in the short term. Can we do that? Editorial, The Jakarta Post

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