Member of Aceh local govarnance (mukim) is fighting to establish the fair Qanun (district regulation) to make the resurgence of mukim governance, just like when it was implemented in Aceh emporium period. Local governance is an example of the implementing instruments of traditional community.

There are different types of traditional community in Indonesia. As to distinguish it, there are traditional community in Aceh and West Sumatra which considered as local community; also in Baduy, Dayak, Toraja, and many others considered as indigenous people. The difference is based on the pattern of daily living but both of them has their of belief which obeyed as a rule among them. The practices of adat (customary) law, traditional court and govarnance, marriage and inheritance law are important aspect for the country recognition.

State admit and respect traditional community and its rights as long as still exist and suitable with development and the principle of unity of Indonesian Republic, as stated in article 18B (2) of 1945 constitutional law. The extinction of traditional community also guaranteed in specific (regional or district) regulation.

As a result of the recognition, it is essential for the state to protect the traditional rights and the community has the right of self determination. On the other hand, they have a weak bargaining power to protect their rights. It is because there is no availability in decision making and participatory process. That is why advocacy is urgently necessary. Advocacy would establish the better mind set of traditional community in providing power to strengthen adat law, and generally to build public awareness.

If we have no longer care for our tradition, it would go under the surface of modernization. Are we going to let it slip away? Do we still care? I Hope this traditional Aceh wiseword would inspired us to be aware “Mate aneuk meupat jirat, Gadoh adat pat tamita” (If you lost your child, you might find him in cemetery. If you lost your adat, you wouldn’t know where to find it)

By Arieta. human right observer JKMA Aceh

Dimuat di Buletin Tuhoe Edisi Perdana, April 2007