East Timor is too instable to survive without a lot a lot of
international aid, and a foreign security force to keep factions from fighting
each other and disrupting the aid efforts. Australia is willing to run, and pay
for, the security force, but the UN wants to bring in a UN run security force.
The Australians fear the UN force will be inept and corrupt, a common condition
with UN peacekeepers.
15, 2006: Years of violence, then a major earthquake and tidal waves in late
2004, have definitely created an atmosphere that supports an end, for the
moment, to Aceh's separatist movement. But part of the deal allowed Aceh to
impose Sharia (Islamic) law in the province, and use that has led to the
establishment of many vigilante groups out there enforcing the law. These
groups, sponsored by a local mosque, have gone beyond reminding women to wear a
headscarves, and men to attend Friday prayers, to assaulting some of those who
do not comply. So far, the local government has avoided interfering, but
popular anger against the vigilantes is growing. These Islamic vigilantes are
showing up elsewhere in Indonesia, but only in Aceh are they protected by law
(the peace deal with the separatists.) Attempts to pass a law that would make
Sharia legal nationwide have, so far, failed to pass.
12, 2006: Evidence keeps piling up that many of the most notorious Indonesian
Islamic terrorists have moved their operations to the Philippines, where there
presence has been noted, and attempts made to arrest the Indonesians. Islamic
terrorists have been able to take refuge with various Islamic separatist groups
in the Philippines.