New Aceh Governing Law Falls Short on Autonomy Promises, Triggers Protests

Four months later than stipulated by the peace agreement ending hostilities in Aceh, the Indonesian Parliament passed a governing law for Aceh on July 11, 2006. The law is intended to give the province greater autonomy, reflect the terms of the August 2005 peace accord, and pave the way to provincial elections later this year.

Sri Lanka Examining Power-Sharing Arrangements

Sri Lanka's president Mahinda Rajapakse met with an advisory committee of constitutional experts in a bid to draw up a power-sharing arrangement with Tamil Tiger rebels and end decades of conflict.

Global Warming Causing More Destructive Wildfires

Global warming may be largely to blame for the increasingly destructive wildfires in the Western United States. Scientists find that longer and fiercer wildfire seasons since 1986 are closely associated with warmer summer temperatures, the earlier arrival of spring, and earlier snowmelts in the West.

The Revival of the Electric Car?

EV1 Sony Picture’s new film, Who Killed the Electric Car, details the birth, short life, and controversy over the demise of General Motors’ all-electric vehicle, the EV1.

People Displaced by Conflict Remain Largely Invisible Next to Tsunami Survivors

An estimated 120,000 Acehnese were forced from their homes by counter-insurgency operations prior to the tsunami and the subsequent peace agreement. Compared with those displaced by the tsunami, they have remained largely invisible, and their right to return remains unfulfilled in many cases.

A Vicious Sectarian War is Taking Place among Tamils in Eastern Sri Lanka

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the breakaway faction known as the Tamil People’s Liberation Party (TMVP) are involved in rising violence.

The European Union Lists Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a Banned Terrorist Organization

The EU had in September 2005 already imposed a travel ban on LTTE members. Its new decision followed earlier similar moves by the United States, Canada, Britain, and India. A freeze on Tamil assets could hurt the LTTE’s ability to raise funds from Tamil expatriates.

Why Aceh Peace Efforts Have Been Successful

The head of the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), Pieter Feith, summarizes why AMM has been successful and distills key lessons learned:

A Fundamentally Different Approach Is Needed to Bring Peace to Sri Lanka

Since the 2002 ceasefire agreement, the Tigers have ruthlessly imposed their complete political domination on the north and east. These acts, along with the assassination of foreign minister Kadirgamar in August 2005 and attacks on government troops, strengthened Sinhalese hardliners. Provoking the military and Sinhala supremacist groups to lash out at Tamil civilians, has lent credence to Tiger claims that Tamils can only be safe with their own state.

International Aid NGO Concludes Aceh Fraud Investigation

Oxfam International’s investigation into procurement fraud at its Aceh office revealed discrepancies of more than $20,000 between amounts paid to suppliers for goods and the quantity of goods received.
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