The Jakarta Post, January 02, 2002
S. Sulawesi Muslims seek referendum
MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: The South Sulawesi Muslims' Second Congress held
here ended on Monday with a recommendation to implement Syariah (Islamic Law) in
the province of South Sulawesi by either special autonomy or independence.
The press release distributed on Tuesday also said that the Congress recommended
two options for the province; special autonomy -- to include Syariah -- or a referendum
for separation from Indonesia leading to an independent state.
Azwar Hasan, the secretary general of the Committee for the Preparation of the
Implementation of the Syariah, said in the press release that the Congress had
resulted in a two-fold recommendation.
"The first is an internal recommendation, which has seven points. One of the points
states that South Sulawesi Muslims should be consistent with their struggle for the
implementation of the Islamic Law, by demanding special autonomy for the province --
under the auspices of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.
"The second is an external recommendation which has 11 points. One of the points
states that if the (people's) aspiration for the implementation of syariah is not
accommodated, the Congress will take concrete steps to seek an independence
referendum, the details of which will be explained later," said Azwar.
The Congress was rocked by an explosion in the dining hall on Sunday evening,
wounding three people. Police have yet to reveal if they have any leads in the
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