Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Why Sidney Jones had been banned to enter Indonesia?
Who is that American expert, yes Sidney Jones. The question now is why?
According to Justice Minister Hamid Awaluddin, the decision to stop Sidney Jones, Indonesia director of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG), from entering Indonesia had been based from intelligence and police information. Why would Indonesian Intelligence and Police suggest Indonesian government to prevent Sidney Jones from entering Indonesia?
For our security? Is it really for our security? For our security in relation to the stability of our life in the form of public opinion? I still do not understand. Neither Sidney Jones nor I can find any of her public comment that can be considered as a security threat. If we read ICG reports made by Sidney Jones, it is like reading a romantic novel. I personally can not fully believe because I have different convincing source compare to her reports. Maybe Indonesia talking about image in international fora, that terrorism which closely linked to radical Islamic movement is a bad image and makes some parts of Indonesian community get angry, possibly.
Maybe she had done something wrong, I am not sure about this. If this is about a misconduct or misperception of her, I am sure this is a small problem, and Intelligence will never account that as a security threat. Furthermore, it will be easier to ask directly for clarification. This is not about her freedom of expression that made publicly are considered a threat to security. This is about something even more complex and unbelievable true.
For example, when Jones was expelled in June 2004 under a different administration after a series of hard-hitting reports on terrorism in Indonesia, a US high rank official ask Indonesia to ban her, without clear reason. In July this year, she was allowed back to live in Indonesia, because Indonesia thinks she is a good analyst and not always criticize the way Indonesia fight terrorist group. Indonesia was also not so comfortable with The ICG condemnation on the latest expulsion.
What I believe is that Sidney Jones should seek the reason within the US homeland security policy, and ask the C.I.A. I am 100% sure that she will easily understand and stop asking the reason why.