Hot on the heels of Martti Ahtisaari,
the former Finnish president and United Nations envoy, being awarded
Nobel Peace Prize 2008 for his work as a mediator in international
conflicts in Aceh in 2005 to end the three decade-long conflict in
Aceh between Indonesia and the free Aceh Movement rebels that had
killed 15,000 people, Former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) leader Muhamad
Hasan Di Tiro arrived in Kuala Lumpur.
In KL, he met with several former GAM
leaders and had planned to stay in Kuala Lumpur for several days to
meet with representatives from the Indonesian government. From there
he would be taken to Jakarta before being flown to Nanggroe Aceh
Darussalam, his home town.Indonesia's former chief negotiator
(now Indonesian ambassador to Russia),
Hamid Awaluddin, had
accompanied Hasan, as well as GAM leaders Malik Mahmud and Zaini
Abdullah. Upon reaching Indonesia, Hassan Di Tiro prayed by the grave
of Aceh hero Sultan Iskandar Muda and visited the grave of another
hero, respected ulema Syech Abdul Rauf, at Syiah Kuala cemetery.
After paying his respects, Tiro will
visit Ule Lhee, the coastal area devastated in the 2004 tsunami.
There is a special meaning to this because it was the tsunami which
preceded the Helsinki memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The homecoming also included an
ancestral homage. Tiro's ancestor Tengku Cik Di Tiro, was a national
hero in Indrapuri district, some 25 kilometers east of Banda Aceh.
Now a Swedish citizen, Tiro issued a
statement on the freedom now enjoyed by Aceh, read by his assistant,
Malik Mahmud, in front of thousands of people at Baiturrahman Mosque
in Banda Aceh.
Anderson, Robert, "Finland’s
Ahtisaari wins Nobel Peace Prize" dated 10 October 2008 in the
Financial Times website [downloaded on 13 Oct 2008], available at
Nurbaiti, Ati, "Hasan Tiro visits
Aceh's hero graves" dated 12 Oct 2008 in The Jakarta Post
[downloaded on 13 Oct 2008], available at
The Jakarta Post, "Aceh’s Hasan
Tiro arrives in Kuala Lumpur" dated 5 Oct 2008 in The Jakarta
Post [downloaded on 13 Oct 2008], available at http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/10/05/aceh%E2%80%99s-hasan-tiro-...