Aceh has been the focus of an unprecedented international rehabilitation effort in response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 26 December 2004. During this process it has also begun the transition from war to peace as a consequence of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Indonesian Government and the Aceh Independence Movement on 15 August 2005.
At the mid-point of the reconstruction effort, and 18 months on from the peace, it is necessary to take stock of what the world has learned from Aceh, and Aceh from the world, during these processes. This will be the first international conference to bring together both experts on Acehnese society and history, and those who have been intensively concerned with post-tsunami developments. Conscious of Aceh’s historic role as Indonesia’s point of intersection with the Indian Ocean world, the Conference will play particular attention to the geographical, historical, commercial and religious factors that linked Aceh to these two worlds. As the effects of the tsunami were felt around the Indian Ocean littoral, comparative analyses of both disaster relief and peace-making in this region will be welcomed.
This conference is sponsored by the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Executing Agency for Aceh and Nias (BRR) and the Asia Research Institute, NUS, Singapore. The cost of invited speakers will be met by funds generously provided by BRR. Participants should plan to arrive in Banda Aceh on February 23rd. The Conference will be followed, on 27th February, by a planning meeting of invited potential stakeholders in an International Centre for Aceh and Indian Ocean Studies.
The papers of the conference will form the basis of a path-breaking book, to be published in both English and Indonesian.
The three-day conference will contain the following panels:
1. Seismology, geology and environmental impact
2. History of Aceh and the Indian Ocean world
3. Language, culture and society
4. Post-tsunami relief, reconstruction and disaster mitigation
5. Conflict resolution, peace-making and democratisation issues
6. Islam, law and society
Abstracts (100-200 words) of papers to be sent to Ms Alyson Rozells at firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 October 2006, and papers by 31 January 2007. Invitations will only be confirmed after receipt and evaluation of the abstracts. Papers should be in English, though presentations and discussion may be in either English or Indonesian.
Prof. Anthony Reid, Director, Asia Research Institute
Assoc. Prof . Michael Feener, ARI/FASS, NUS
Dr Patrick Daly, Asia Research Institute
Sher Banu, Ph.D. candidate, Imperial College
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