Monarchist to the Rescue
Kerry Jones, Australia's very own princess, has not been resting on her tiara since defeating the political elites in the recent republic referendum.
Jones' charismatic charm has not gone unnoticed either --- the doyen of Australian monarchists now has the ear of Indonesia's ruling class.
The Indonesian government were so impressed with the way she led the Australian Monarchists to victory in Australia --- without mentioning the Queen, or firing a single shot --- Gus Dur has been seeking her advice.
Jones is now working as a consultant to the Indonesian Government, where she is advising them on how to use democracy to defeat and manipulate the will of the people. She is adamant the same tactics employed by the Australian Monarchists, can help bring peace and stability to Indonesia.
"The military is still very powerful in Indonesia," she said, "since the recent referendum in East Timor, they have been reeling from one crisis to another. I am trying to show them that it is not necessary to use violence, suspicion and fear to divide a country. The ballot box works just as well and it is far more democratic".
Jones has already had some success. Pro-integrationists have, on her suggestion, regrouped themselves as the Forum for National Unity. The fact that many of them are regarded as war criminals is seen as a bonus.
"It is only the international human rights organisations that are condemning these people," Jones said, "we are now starting a grassroots people campaign 'Indonesia for Indonesians'. Why should someone outside Indonesia be allowed to interfere and say who are criminals and who are not?"
"I am working closely with the military, and advising them on how to achieve their objectives through the ballot box", said Jones. "If the right questions are asked, and enough doubt and misinformation sown in people's mind, their objectives can be achieved without bloodshed."
Indonesia is keen not to make the same mistakes in Aceh that it did in East Timor. The military are aware they need to change their image.
A spokesperson for General Wiranto, who did not wish to be identified agreed. "We have spent so long murdering and torturing anyone who seemed like a communist, it is going to take time for us to understand the concept of human rights".
Many people in Aceh support independence. The devil however is in the detail. Many believe independence should come later rather than sooner and will do anything to delay independent rule. This is where Jones believes her skill and experience will prove invaluable.
"In Australia we succeeded in attracting many opposing groups to our cause because of the skillful way we manipulated our agenda. That we could attract both Monarchists and Republicans to support us, was due to our excellent marketing and campaigning skills. We have developed these skills over hundreds of years. If democracy is to succeed in Indonesia, they need to acquire these skills as well".
Jones has identified three key areas. First, to convince people, especially the lower classes, that they actually have a chance of being heard. Secondly, it is important to splinter Separatist groups, forcing them to campaign against each other. Thirdly, expose ethnic differences in the groups and label the whole lot as being elitist. Pro-integrationists can then call on the illiterate masses to vote for the system they understand, and the status quo will be preserved.
A spokesperson for the Free Aceh Movement was unperturbed by the fact that Kerry Jones was helping the government. "We have been around for over 20 years," he said. "We have more than enough support".
Forming a government could be more difficult. Aceh is the New Zealand of Indonesia --- all the educated Acehnese have moved out and show little interest in returning.