1. What is Acheh-Sumatra National Liberation Front (ASNLF)?
Acheh-Sumatra National Liberation Front or ASNLF for short is an Achehnese Liberation Movement, set up by the late Dr. Tengku Hasan di Tiro in the jungle of Acheh in 1976.
2. What are the objectives of ASNLF?
As shown in its Constitution, the objectives of the ASNLF are:
- to liberate Acheh and its people from all types of colonialism through legal approach in accordance with the Achehnese values and the international laws;
- to call the international community that the Achehnese question is in fact a case of right to self-determination and right to undergo a proper de-colonialization process from the Dutch East Indies in accordance with the principles and procedures of United Nations resolutions;
- to reinstate the sovereignty of the State of Acheh to its initial pre-colonial status.
3. What are the differences between the ASNLF founded by Tengku Hasan in Acheh and the “new” ASNLF established in Denmark in 2012?
There is no such a difference between the new and the old one. Achehnese around the globe convened in a three-day-meeting in Brøndreslev, Denmark, April 2012, during which they decisively concluded that ASNLF be restored as the umbrella organization to continue the struggle for an independent Acheh.
One of the many reasons is that the organization’s founder, Tengku Hasan, has passed away and his close lieutenants who supposed to carry out the tasks and carry on the struggle have obviously abandoned these sacred duties and integrated themselves into the Republic of Indonesia.
4. How is the ASNLF run?
ASNLF is a structural and democratic forum and run by a number of subsidiary bodies in accordance with its Constitution.
5. What is the composition of the ASNLF?
The ASNLF composes of among others General Assembly, Advisory Council, Presidium, Country Coordinators and Departments.
6. Despite some hurdles and shortcomings, Acheh might be considered as peaceful and conducive. Why should this movement seek to unsettle the current political climate?
As matter of fact, the situation in Acheh is fragile and volatile. The liberation movement based on democracy, such as ASNLF, does not threaten peace in Acheh. It assists the endeavors for a more sustainable peace, while at the same time promoting transparency and accountability of the true nature of the political climate in Acheh. The existence of this democratic and constitutional organization offers a forum where people’s political aspirations can be freely voiced.
Off course, there are some parties, which misconstrue the re-activating of the ASNLF and its efforts for a free and democratic Acheh. We have been accused of trying to disturb the peace process, but, on the contrary, the existence of ASNLF promotes human rights, justice and transparency.
It is of concern to the ASNLF that some parties involved in the peace process in Acheh are not guided by democratic principles. Consequently the future peace-building in Acheh will continue to be shaped under the influence of Indonesian Military/Police, and its democracy a continuation of Indonesia’s sham democracy.
7. What are the ASNLF's objections to the MoU of Helsinki?
Firstly, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is not legally binding. The Free Acheh Movement (GAM) conducted its negotiations incompetently and the promises given through the MoU are open to many interpretations to the advantage of the Government of Indonesia, which it has been exploiting the situation ever since.
Furthermore, the deal set a dangerous precedent by eliminating the Achehnese State Institution and Governance Structure Institution (the Head of the Nation, the Council of the Nation, the Cabinet, and TNA, the military wing). This loss of institution and governance means, in effect, the nation of Acheh no longer exists.
The Government of Indonesia remains therefore a threat to the Achehnese people. The same armed forces that killed thousands of Achehnese civilians remain free to operate with impunity. Unfortunately, the current MoU does not include the demand that the crimes against humanity perpetrated during 30 years of war in Acheh be brought to justice.
8. Shall the ASNLF participate in an armed struggle?
As stipulated in the Constitution, our endeavors will be based on democratic and non-violent and within the confines of International Law. Notwithstanding, if Achehnese human rights are continued to be violated by Indonesia, under International Law the people of Acheh has the right to self-defense.
9. Are there any relations between this “new” ASNLF and other Achehnese organizations that are devoting to the same objectives?
Yes, not only to Achehnese organizations, but ASNLF is also open to all and ally itself with all other liberation movements in the archipelago to attain their own freedoms and independence. ASNLF also cooperates with local, national and international non-governmental organizations around the world in the the fields of human and democratic rights.
10. How is the International acceptance to the ASNLF?
The right of a people to self-determination and to decide their own future is inherent and inalienable. When Achehnese has the intention to exercise these rights, it is the duty of international community to provide them with necessary means in order to achieve their goal.