Presumed dead for seven years, a girl returns home in tatters.
MEULABOH, Indonesia — To the international media, Meri is a "Christmas miracle" who arrived home just before the tsunami's seventh anniversary. But to her family, Meri is equal parts miracle and mystery.
BANGKOK — Tranquility is hardly the norm in Aceh. This coastal Indonesian province has suffered more than a century of trouble: Dutch colonial warfare, a bloody insurgency, and a horrific 2004 tsunami. Recent years have offered a reprieve, arising from the tsunami wreckage. But but this relative peace is now threatened by political violence.
Some 64 Indonesians have been given an unwanted make-over as part of the authorities' treatment for a "new social disease": punk rock.
The punks, ranging from teenagers to people in their 30s, were arrested at a charity concert last weekend in the town of Banda Aceh, in the country's conservative Aceh state, the Jakarta Globe reported.
They were taken to a police school Tuesday for a forcible "re-education."
State police chief Iskandar Hasan told the Globe what that would involve:
"There will be a traditional ceremony. First their hair will be cut. Then they will be tossed into a pool. The women’s hair we’ll cut in the fashion of a female police officer. Then we’ll teach them a lesson.
"We’ll change their disgusting clothes. We’ll replace them with nice clothes. We’ll give them toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, sandals and prayer gear."
The punks—who have not been charged with any crime—were to be held at the facility for a further 10 days for "rehabilitation" and religious training, according to Hasan.