Indonesia is arguably the country that has done the most to fight terrorism. But now it is intensifying its efforts, because terrorism clearly has not been defeated. More needs to be done and a new approach adopted.
The government has started to define a road map for eradicating radicalism and terrorism. Vice President Boediono will coordinate a team of ministers and anti-terror leaders who have promised to put an end to the menace.
This pro-active approach is needed because rounding up terrorists has not been sufficient. To defeat terrorism, we need to get to the root of the problem, requiring the government and community leaders to work in unison.
The vice president said he would coordinate with 24 government ministries and strategic agencies to produce a terror prevention and de-radicalization plan to be implemented in 2013.
He said the fight against terror and radical ideas has been sporadic, with too much emphasis put on repressive actions but not enough on prevention and de-radicalization.
To fight terrorism, we must start in schools, where young minds are most impressionable.
We must raise living standards and improve livelihoods so that poverty does not become a platform to radicalize rural communities.
We must create more and better jobs so that even low-income groups have a stake in maintaining social stability.
This nation was founded on the principle of Unity in Diversity and respect for all major religions.
We cannot and must not allow a small group of misguided individuals to hold the country hostage and destroy its social fabric.
The government should take the lead but every Indonesian has to play his or her role in fighting this mortal danger in our midst.