Thai Army chief learning about Aceh conflict handling

Thai Army chief learning about Aceh conflict handling

Thai Army Chief General Apirat Kongsompong (left), Indonesian Army Chief of Staff General Andika Perkasa (center), and Aceh Wali Nangggroe traditional leader Tgk Malik Mahmud Al-Haytar (right) at the Iskandar Muda Regional Military Command Headquarters in Banda Aceh, Tuesda (Jan 14, 2020). ANTARA/Khalis

General Apirat came to Aceh to see for himself what it has achieved. They (Apirat and entourage) will also meet with the Aceh Wali Nanggroe traditional leader to share (knowledge) that may be useful for Thailand
Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - Thai Army Chief General Apirat Kongsompong is visiting Aceh Province to learn how it handled conflicts. Kongsompong arrived in Aceh at 11.40 a.m. local time Tuesday. He was greeted by Indonesian Army Chief of Staff General Andika Perkasa, Chief of the Iskandar Muda Regional Military Command Major General Teguh Indratmoko, upon arrival.

Geographically, Aceh is an Indonesian province closest to Thailand. Apirat visited the westernmost Indonesian province to see for himself all the dynamics in the province. Perkasa said.

"General Apirat came to Aceh to see for himself what it has achieved. They (Apirat and entourage) will also meet with the Aceh Wali Nanggroe traditional leader to share (knowledge) that may be useful for Thailand," Perkasa said at the Iskandar Muda Regional Military Command Headquarters in Banda Aceh, capital of Aceh province.

Aceh suffered a protracted conflict between the separatist movement and the Indonesian government for nearly three decades before both sides signed a peace agreement in Helsinki, Finland, on August 15, 2005.

Aceh is a peaceful city after it suffered a protracted conflict and bore the brunt of December 26, 2004 powerful earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, Apirat said.

Aceh continued to rise in the wake of the armed conflict and tsunami by improving infrastructures and promoting civilization within its tranquil society and mutual understanding, he said. "What has brought about this peace? This is not about religion, nor what you are understanding. We must understand it," he said.

Thailand has three conflicting provinces in its southern part. They have many things in common with Aceh, including religion and culture. Aceh has the freedom to lead a peaceful life under the Indonesian constitution.

"But I don't know why conflict is still going on in the three provinces involving several community groups that have the freedom to adhere to religious faith and the right to vote. They can choose their leaders because they are Thai nationals under our constitution," he said.

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