The government has granted new concessions to five timber companies, in addition to 13 companies that already held concessions. Aceh has remaining forest areas of 3.3 million hectares, including 638,000 hectares designated as production forests.
The peace agreement between the government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) stipulated that a new Aceh governing law be passed by March and elections be held in April. Although the slow pace of parliamentary deliberations has meant that both deadlines have been missed, the peace process remains on track.
Greg Holland, a leading storm researcher at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, says that while tropical storm anomalies in the 1940s and 1950s can be explained by natural variability, the wind and warmer water conditions that fuel storms that form in the Caribbean are now “increasingly due to greenhouse gases.”
In a report, the human rights organization says that the government failed to stop attacks by armed Sinhalese mobs in Trincomalee district; the attacks occurred after an alleged Tamil Tiger bomb there killed 5 persons.
Damien Kingsbury, a former advisor to the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), writes that the outcome of the Aceh peace process has important implications for reaching a satisfactory settlement in Papua, where calls for independence from Indonesia may trigger a violent backlash from the Indonesian military and nationalist legislators in Jakarta who are determined not to allow Papua to secede.
Ostensibly, the rebuilding plan puts all neighborhoods on the same footing. Neighborhoods are responsible for determining who is moving back to the community and to make collective decisions about the community’s future.
In retaliation for a suicide bomb attack on the headquarters of Sri Lanka’s army, the military launched air attacks on Tamil Tiger targets in the northeast of the country, causing thousands of people to seek safety in the jungle.
Tapping emergency relief experts from governments and NGOs, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the appointment of twelve members to an Advisory Group for the Central Emergency Response Fund. CERF is designed to bring faster relief to disaster victims.