Thursday, January 13, 2005

This Just In

From today's Le Monde [dated 14.1.2005; link in French]:

France has announced that its military aid operation in Indonesia will be ready Friday when two ships arrive, including the Jeanne-d'Arc....

If they stay, they will be there in time for the next Tsunami.

On a more serious note, the same article from Le Monde notes that in Aceh province:

The some 4 million Achehnese are pious and proud Muslims who want to govern their own affairs.

Under a 2002 agreement between the Indonesian government and the rebel forces of the Free Aceh Movement, Aceh enjoys a special autonomous status. Unlike the article from Le Monde, an article from yesterday's Le Figaro [link in French], citing the local imam Salman al-Farisi, gives some idea what this autonomy means in practice:

"The Achenese have betrayed Allah. They strayed from the recommendations of the Koran," the imam Salman al-Farisi explains. In the context of the special autonomy status accorded in 2002, the Sharia has been promulgated in the province, unlike in the rest of Indonesia. "Only the good Muslims have survived." At the entry to his camp near the military airport, he has put up a sign: "Islamic Law Applied".