In Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh, the democratization process that began in Indonesia in 1998 encouraged the overt expression of regionalist sentiment and resentment of the military. The surprising extent of both feelings made Aceh, home to a long-standing independence movement, the next potential candidate after East Timor to break away from Indonesia, and led to harsh repressive measures by the military.
The tsunami of December 2004 brought incalculable destruction and loss to Aceh. At the same time, it brought international sympathy and aid on an unprecedented scale, along with new pressures for peace. In August 2005, Indonesia and Aceh signed a peace agreement designed to put an end to the conflict.
This book offers a guide to the complexities of modern Aceh, a land dubbed "The Verandah of Mecca," as it moves toward peace and reconstruction. With balanced coverage by leading authorities, historians, political scientists, and journalists, Verandah of Violence probes the underlying causes of the conflict that has pitted Aceh against Jakarta, explaining why the Acehnese entered the Indonesian republic in 1945 with an unparalleled determination to resist outside domination, and how these attitudes have shaped Aceh's relations with the Indonesian state.
Anthony Reid is the founding director of the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. A student of Aceh since the 1960s, he is also the author of An Indonesian Frontier: Acehnese and Other Histories of Sumatra. Other contributors include Teuku Ibrahim Alfian, Edward Aspinall, M. Isa Sulaiman, Aleksius Jemadu, Damien Kingsbury, Lee Kam Hing, Leslie McCulloch, Rod McGibbon, E. Edwards McKinnon, Michelle Ann Miller, William Nessen, Peter G. Riddell, and Kirsten Schulze.
"Verandah of Violence is the most comprehensive attempt to understand the underlying causes of conflict within Acehnese society and between Aceh and other states that have vied to control it." - Terance W. Bigalke, East-West Center, USA
"Anthony Reid has done an excellent job of drawing together a balanced picture of violence, both in its contemporary garb and as the violence that has been manifested historically." - Barbara Leigh, Institute for International Studies, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia