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Root out terrorist network: Megawati JAKARTA - Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri in a New Year's message has called for the terrorist network linked to the Bali bombing to be rooted out. "Our security forces have already succeeded in revealing the culprits' network, accompanied by initial evidence and convincing confessions," she said in a speech broadcast on state television Tuesday night.
"We hope that terrorist network can be uncovered to its roots, to its supporters along with all those behind it." The October 12 bombs in Bali's Kuta tourist strip killed at least 190 people, almost half of them Australians. Megawati was in Kuta to welcome the New Year Tuesday night at a festival filled with messages of peace.
Until the bombing her government played down warnings of a terror network in the world's largest Muslim-populated nation. Since then it has pushed through emergency anti-terror regulations and police have arrested 15 of 26 bombing suspects. Police describe one suspect, Mukhlas, as controller of the operation and allege he is operations chief of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terrorist network.
In her televised speech, Megawati said the bombing "shocked" the nation and killed innocent local people as well as tourists. She also talked about the problem in Papua province where separatist sentiment is widespread and where rebels have waged a long-running low-level insurgency. "We are making efforts so that what is happening in that province doesn't develop further to reach the scale of Aceh," she said.
An estimated 10,000 people died during a 26-year conflict in Aceh before the government in early December reached a cessation of hostilities agreement with Free Aceh Movement rebels who have been fighting for a separate state since 1976. The government has given both Papua and Aceh a special autonomy status that grants them a greater share of their resource revenues and control over their affairs.
Megawati also referred to a December ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which granted ownership of two islands in the Sulawesi Sea to Malaysia. The islands off the coast of Malaysia's Sabah state and Indonesia's East Kalimantan province had been claimed by the two countries in a dispute dating back more than three decades. Megawati called this "a bitter experience" and urged her citizens to ponder its implications for the archipelago nation.
"The wealth of our seas has also for a long time been plundered, in a de facto way, by plunderers from various countries. We must take whatever steps necessary to stop this plundering. Because of that we must increase our management, authority, and effective guarding of our territory," she said.



Posted in Terrorism @ 02 January 2003 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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