TRC in Aceh; an Illusion of Justice?

Some problems were identified why TRC in Aceh is not established yet? The problems evolve due a lack of political commitment of the government, and also different perspectives on TRCs concept among the communities groups. Then, this article aims to find out how TRC in Aceh is expected, and how far the government’s commitment to realize the establishment of the TRC in Aceh.

Conceptually, the TRC is a political idea whose belief that good life in the future will be difficult to achieved, without a preceded by a collective effort to resolve the darkness story in the past (Sparingga, 2003). Meanwhile, according to the draft of qanun Aceh on TRC, article 1 (g) states that “TRC is an independent institution that established to reveal the truth, patterns and motifs of human rights violations in the context of armed conflict in Aceh and perform reconciliation.”

However, if we examine further the meaning of investigation in this legal draft, there is no sense of justice for the victims. The investigations that would be conducted by the Commission only for a small case of human rights violation, nor to systematic human right violation (draft of TRC, Article 1). Meanwhile, during 30 years the conflict in Aceh, since GoI applied the Military Operation Area (DOM), Martial Law, Civil Emergency Status, Rencongs Operation, etc.., there are so many crimes against human rights carried out in a systematic way and structured. Whether in the form of kidnappings, torture and mass murder, etc.

Thus, some of the victims, stating that according to them, the existence of TRCs Aceh should enforced of punishment for the actors who involved in human right abuses. However, this concept on TRC will be faced very “crucial” steps, whice one side the concept of TRC should pay attention on the victims aspiration, but on the other hand, and it must avoid new conflicts among the parties, when TRC apply the punishment for the actors whether the Indonesian Military or GAM members with the Acehnese people, especially with the victim.

According to Sparingga (2003), in settlement of its past, there are four patterns that typically may be selected. As they move from a spectrum (1) “never to forget, never to forgive”; (2) “never to forget but to forgive”, which means “trial and then forgive”, (3) “to forget, but never to forgive”, which means that no court but will be cursed forever, and (4) “to forget and to forgive”, which means no trial and forgotten just like that.

Germany for example, after the collapse of fascist rule under Hitler, with the assistance of allied countries. Germany had been applied the first pattern. In contrast, the Spanish chosen the fourth pattern immediately after the fall of dictator Franco in the 70s era. Meanwhile, South Africa chosen the second pattern with more emphasis on disclossure approach through the “Truth and Reconcilliation Commission” rather than the courts.

This concept was developed in the process of settlement of human rights violations in Aceh, which is not to forget, but to forgive. However, whether the people of Aceh, especially the victims have forgiven the perpetrators of these crimes? And whether the perpetrators ever said apologized? This is not answered yet.

If the establishment of the TRC in South Africa begins with the early commitment of the leadership of Apharteid, De Klerk and Nelson Mandela, which was as a symbol of the victims. So, in the context of Aceh who can serve as “representative” of the victims? And whos the representatives of the perpetrators?

Due to this concept is not exhaustive, where the difference in perception between the governments that would adopted the TRCs experience in South Africa, and the wishes of the victim was different. Then, commitments to realize the formation of the TRC was not running optimally. Moreover, if reviewed to the background of the TRCs ideas that included in Helsinki MoU 2.3 points. There is not an initial commitment of GoI and GAM, but as an initiative of the peace mediator, Martin Ahtiisari. Then ratified in article 229, Law of Aceh Governing Number 11/2006, and in other article stated that the TRC in Aceh shall become a part of the national TRC, while the law of TRC in National level had been revoked and no longer valid. So KKR in Aceh became a fable story, it is just an illusion for the justice in Aceh. Allah knows best.

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