National News
December 07, 2004
Police to question 11 in Munir case

Jakarta: The National Police will re-question 11 people this week about the
murder of human rights activist Munir aboard a Garuda Indonesia plane
traveling from Jakarta to Amsterdam on Sept. 7.

Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Paiman said on Monday the 11 people to be
questioned included Tarmizi Hakim, a doctor who treated Munir aboard the
plane, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, a Garuda pilot who gave up his business-
class seat to Munir during the Jakarta-Singapore leg of the flight, and Garuda
crew members who served Munir food and drinks.

“We have not yet declared any suspects in this case. We merely want to
question these people further,” Paiman said.

Authorities in the Netherlands earlier declared Munir died of arsenic
poisoning. Investigators have so far questioned 55 people, including 41 Garuda
crew members.
— JP
The Jakarta
National News
December 08, 2004
House set up teams of investigation
Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta

The House of Representatives (DPR) on Tuesday set up three teams of
investigation, one monitoring team and one special committee (pansus) to deal
with various issues.

The three teams will investigate the Bojong incident, the Jagorawi toll road
accident, and the death of human rights activist Munir.

The monitoring team will oversee the extension of the civil emergency status
in Nangroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), and the special committee will probe the
cause of mass riots in Poso, Central Sulawesi.

The establishment of the four teams and one committee was made in a plenary
meeting led by deputy House speaker Soetardjo Soerjogoeritno of the Indonesian
Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

Members of the teams are taken from various factions and from related House

Effendi M.S. Simbolon, a member of the team that will investigate Munir’s
death, said that his team would endeavor collect information as effectively as

According to Effendi, his team would hear information from the rights watch
group Imparsial, the Commission on Missing Persons and Victims of Violence
(Kontras) and from Munir’s widow Suciwati.

“We hope we can also meet with other sources that may provide us with
information,” he told the press here.

Separately, Permadi — a member of the team to monitor the civilian emergency
in Aceh — said his team had not yet organized an internal meeting to discuss
its agenda.

“I think the monitoring team will be the same as the previous team that
monitored the implementation of the martial law and civil emergency status in
Aceh,” Permadi said, referring to a monitoring team established by legislators
of the period 1999-2004.

The previous team sent members into the conflict-torn province several times.
However, the legislators spent most of their time in the capital city, saying
that visiting conflict areas was too dangerous.

The team investigating the Bojong incident will probe the repressive action
taken by police officers against a group of people protesting the operation of
a waste treatment facility in Bojong, Bogor, West Java.

Police allegedly raided houses of local people, beat protesters, and dragged
them into police stations. Dozens of people were injured.

The investigation team on the Jagorawi toll road accident will probe the
events leading to the incident that took place when police accompanying
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s convoy suddenly stopped traffic, leading
to a fatal pile-up.

Presidential spokesman Andi Mallarangeng almost immediately blamed a bus
driver for the accident which claimed six lives and injured 10 others.

Police are under fire because the accident with claims that they had halted
the traffic too abruptly on the fast toll road, and did not give drivers
enough time to slow down.
The Jakarta
National News
December 10, 2004
Rights body rues lack of support
Tiarma Siboro, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta

Uncooperative lawmakers and law enforcers remain a persistent hurdle that the
National Commission on Human Rights has to clear in upholding human rights in
the country, the commission says.

The lack of support from the two key groups has discouraged the commission’s
efforts in the protection of human rights, commission member Hasballah M. Saad
stated prior to International Human Rights Day, which falls on Friday.

Hasballah recalled the move by the Attorney General’s Office to scratch two
high-ranking Army generals, including Gen. (ret) Wiranto, from the list of
officers it deemed responsible for the atrocities in East Timor in 1999. In
addition to the overall legal process of the case where not one person was
held accountable in the end. All suspects that stood trial for the mayhem were
acquitted either in a lower court or after appealing.

Hasballah also said political interests had driven the House of
Representatives to obstruct justice as demanded by the families of victims of
the Trisakti University and Semanggi incidents in 1998.

“The Trisakti, Semanggi I and Semanggi II incidents taught us a dear lesson on
how rights abuse cases are sacrificed for political interests,” he said on

Law No. 26/2000 on the rights tribunal says the lawmakers determine whether a
crime can be classified as a crime against humanity or not.

Hasballah said the commission was also powerless in monitoring the course of a
court hearing, which finally delivers the verdict, even if it is far from
fulfilling the public’s sense of justice.

“The recent trial of military and police officers accused of committing rights
abuses during the Tanjung Priok shooting has resulted in disappointing
verdicts. But what can we do about it since we are powerless to encourage
judges at the court to do more?” Hasballah wondered.

Due to the absence of power, the commission members are demanding a revision
to Law 39/2000 to enable the rights body to conduct formal investigations into
allegations of human rights abuses.

Hasballah said the rights body wanted similar authority to the anticorruption
commission, which could take over an investigation from the police and
Attorney General’s Office and bring suspects to trial.

“We also ask the lawmakers to deliberate on the bill on witness protection. It
is very crucial, given the fact that most witnesses worry about their safety
after testifying,” Hasballah said.

A strained budget is another problem facing the rights commission, Hasballah
said. The commission reportedly has proposed Rp 90 billion (US$10 million) for
the next fiscal year to run its daily activities and procure housing and
vehicles for its members.

Another human rights organization, the Institute for Policy Research and
Advocacy (Elsam), marked International Human Rights Day with a call on the
government to provide protection for rights defenders, including activists,
journalists, students and lawyers.

Elsam executive director Ifdhal Kasim said the country should learn a lesson
from the death of rights campaigner Munir, who died of arsenic poisoning.

“The death of Munir has sent the country to the lowest ebb of efforts to
uphold human rights,” Ifdhal said.

Elsam said it had records over the past six years, which show that most cases
of violence against rights defenders occurred in 2001 and 2003, but nobody
could guarantee if the violence would subside then.
The Jakarta
December 10, 2004
Munir’s final service to Indonesia
Patrick Guntensperger, Jakarta

Never before in Indonesia’s long history has a leader’s mandate come at so
pivotal a time. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was handed the keys to the kingdom at
a time when this fledgling democracy, the home to one quarter of a billion
people, the fourth largest national population on earth, can either become a
shining example of modern statehood or it can slide back into a morass of
corruption, authoritarianism and Third World poverty. The future of what could
be the greatest success story of Southeast Asia lies in the hands of Susilo.

Susilo has already warned us not to expect too much in the first hundred days
of his mandate. That warning made those who hesitated to put their future in
his hands somewhat nervous. While the observation that there is much to do and
the first few months of Susilo’s presidency must be devoted to consolidating
power and analyzing problems is reasonable, one can’t help but remark
cynically that before the elections he demonstrated a greater sense of urgency
about his mission. However, let us assume that Susilo is on track and on
target to accomplish the great things we expect of him.

The best possible indication that Susilo sees his mandate as one of change and
a rejection of the old Indonesian politics of cronyism, corruption and
militarism would be if he got solidly behind a major effort to investigate,
capture and prosecute the murderers of human rights activist Munir.

That Munir’s cowardly assassination by poison on a flight to Amsterdam was
appalling should go without saying. That his widow has been threatened and
warned to avoid connecting his death to the Indonesian military is
inexcusable. The arrogance and personal cruelty of that act is unspeakable.

There were a great number of believers in democracy who had concerns about
Susilo’s military background. While he appealed to many reformists, he was a
retired general and that caused many to question whether he would be able or
inclined to take the helm of the government and separate the power of the
military from that of the civil authorities. Could Susilo maintain relations
with the military and at the same time curb its power? Many had misgivings.
The country decided to believe that it was possible and Susilo got his

If Susilo wants to prove himself worthy of the people’s trust and at the same
time make great strides in the direction of democratization of this country,
he needs to see that Munir’s murder is thoroughly investigated regardless of
the connections his death might have to the military. If Susilo’s commitment
to the fight against corruption is to be believed, he needs to have the people
of Indonesia see Munir’s murderers brought to justice. If, as seems possible,
there is a cadre within the military that is responsible for his death, they
must be exposed, arrested and charged with murder as well as with the
subsequent cover up and with abuse of their authority and power. If this is
done openly and transparently, those who had misgivings about Susilo would
have their concerns laid to rest.

This investigation and the arrests that would inevitably follow would do far
more to further the fight against corruption than Susilo’s once-a-month
cabinet meeting on the subject. Turning over a few rocks in the military would
both serve notice that, finally, a genuinely democratic government had been
empowered and that the military is the country’s servant, not its master.

Susilo is justifiably proud of his military background. He served his country
with distinction and is a highly respected retired soldier. As a retired
soldier, we want to know whether his loyalties are to the military or to the
country first. As the country’s president, that question is even more
pressing. Surely as a proud former member of Indonesia’s armed forces, he
would want to see a pristine and accountable military. Surely he would want to
eliminate rogue elements within the military that would murder civilians and
then intimidate his widow with a grotesque threat. Surely he, like us, would
like to prove that this is nothing more than a small group of fanatics within
the military structure and not representative of the entire edifice. Surely,
if no one in the military had anything to do with this assassination, he would
want to see its exoneration.

Now is the time for Susilo to prove openly and clearly that he will not be
intimidated by the entrenched power of Indonesia’s military. Now is the time
for him to use his military background as tool to bring the military into the
democratization process. Perhaps Munir’s death will give Susilo an opportunity
to prove to the citizens of Indonesia that he is not politically cowed by the
military machine that has for so long been a law unto itself in this country.

Perhaps Munir, in death, can do one final service for the greater good of his
beloved country. Perhaps this will be his chance to see Susilo demonstrate
that he has the makings of a courageous leader and prove that he is a man of
integrity. If that happens, Indonesia is well on the road to success and with
continued inspired leadership, greatness.
— The writer, social and political commentator, can be reached at
ttpguntensperger at
The Jakarta
National News
December 13, 2004
Aceh civilians tire of military intimidation
Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Banda Aceh

“Are you Acehnese? Then you must be GAM.”

This sort of intimidating remark is frequently uttered by soldiers when
conducting checking motorists and passers-by for identity cards and weapons.
Local resident Muhammad, 32, has had enough of it.

“What’s wrong with being Acehnese? If they want to discriminate against us
like this, why don’t they just let Aceh become independent,” he said angrily.

Muhammad is a native Acehnese, and is immediately recognized as such by the
authorities on account of his dark complexion. He lives in Reubeuk village,
Mutiara district, Pidie regency, some 118 kilometers from Banda Aceh.

The area is one of the “hot spots” in the regency.

He has often been questioned longer than other people by soldiers as he has a
local identity card.

“It’s as if all Acehnese are considered troublemakers and are responsible for
the current situation,” he complained.

His remarks were confirmed by Pardamean Sitorus of North Tapanuli, who works
as a drugs’ salesman in Banda Aceh. He has often seen Acehnese people being
stigmatized as GAM rebels, especially during searches by the military and

“The soldiers treat me differently to the Acehnese. Moreover, I don’t have to
carry the local red-and-white ID card,” said Sitorus, referring to the fact
that the Acehnese are discriminated against by being forced to carry a special
ID card flaunting the colors of the Indonesian flag.

He added that during searches, Acehnese people would normally be questioned
abusively by soldiers. The slightest misunderstanding could result in big
trouble for the locals, including being beaten and kicked.

Frequently, the Acehnese are abused by being forced to lie in water-filled
ditches or being ordered to do countless push-ups.

“If they are believed to have committed a more serious offense, they will be
taken to a command post,” added Sitorus.

People who are in any way connected with separatist rebels or who even happen
to have the same or similar names as GAM leaders, like Muzakkir Manaf or
Sofyan Dawood, come in for particularly abusive treatment.

Soldiers or police often paint the word “GAM” or the letter “X” in red paint
on houses they believe are owned by families of GAM members. These sorts of
human rights abuses have sparked public unrest and drawn protests from human
rights groups.

However, Aceh civil emergency administration Sr. Comr. Sayed Husainy denied
any discriminatory treatment against the Acehnese by the military and police.

“It might have happened previously because at that time it was still difficult
for the security forces to distinguish between GAM members and civilians. But
this isn’t such a problem any more,” he said.

Apart from widespread discrimination and intimidation, local people are also
often at the receiving end of even more serious rights abuses, like torture,
murder, abduction and unlawful detention. While cases of discrimination are
regarded as being very harmful, they are frequently ignored.

A human rights activist in Aceh, Muhammad Isa, said the discrimination was
particularly serious as it could create further tension and conflict in the

“Many of the family members of GAM fighters are not involved in separatist
activities. Nevertheless, they are frequently summoned by the authorities for
questioning. They are also obliged to report even though they have done
nothing. It’s dangerous,” Isa told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He added that this sort of approach on the part of the military and police was
one of the main reasons behind the increase in the popularity of the
separatist cause.

“When Aceh was declared a military operation zone (DOM) (by the Soeharto
regime), there were only a few hundred GAM insurgents in Pidie, North Aceh and
East Aceh. Now, after 10 years there are a lot more throughout Aceh,” Isa
ABC/Radio Australia
Last Update: Monday, December 13, 2004. 0:15am (AEDT)
Indonesian soldiers shoot six separatists in Aceh

Indonesia’s military says that soldiers have shot dead six separatists
including a rebel police commander in restive Aceh province.

Wahidin, 50, who is believed to be the guerrilla movement police chief for the
Pidie subdistrict, was shot dead during a clash in the Trieng Gadeng area on
Saturday, said an Aceh military spokesmen, Ari Mulya Asnawi.

Three other clashes also pitted government forces and rebels from the
separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in South Aceh and Pidie district, leaving
five other rebels dead.

The military seized a firearm, a hand gun and ammunition.

An estimated 12,000 people, many of them civilians, have been killed since the
rebels began their insurgency in 1976, with rights groups accusing both
government troops and the GAM of widespread abuses.

Jakarta launched a major military operation to try to crush the guerrillas
after peace talks with the government broke down in May 2003.
The Jakarta
National News
December 10, 2004
Police conduct door-to-door search

Ambon, Maluku: Maluku Police conducted a door-to-door search on Wednesday in
three subdistricts in Central Maluku, following mysterious armed attacks in
the area.

Police officers seized various types of rifles, ammunition and homemade bombs
from local residents, including 41 bullets, eight homemade rifles and three
homemade bombs, during the search.

Maluku Police deputy chief Sr. Comr. Bambang Suaidi said two people were
attacked and wounded last week in Namaea.

Such attacks have been common in Maluku following sectarian clashes between
1999 and 2002 in the province, which left some 6,000 people dead and forced
thousands of others to take refuge in safer places.
— JP
The Jakarta
National News
December 13, 2004
Five injured as violence returns to Palu city
Ruslan Sangadji, The Jakarta Post, Palu

Unknown assailants sprayed bullets at a Palu church and later detonated a bomb
in another church in the city on Sunday night, injuring at least five people.

The incident, the second in the past five months, has served as a wakeup call
for police personnel nationwide ahead of Christmas celebrations on Dec. 25.

The first incident, amid heavy rain, took place at 7:15 p.m. at Anugerah
Protestant church in Palu city, the capital of Central Sulawesi province.

Witnesses said that the incident began when an unidentified man, accompanied
by three others riding two motorcycles, sprayed bullets randomly at the church
from the road. The bullets shattered widows and hit two people sitting on the
back pews of the church. Hundreds of others, who were also attending the
Sunday service, quickly ran for cover, Arnold Nyawa, a Protestant minister who
was giving a sermon, was quoted as saying by Antara news agency. The four
attackers quickly fled following the shooting.

The two victims — Sri, 19 and Rada Krisna, 36 — were rushed to Undata
Hospital and were treated for serious gunshot wounds.

The incident was followed 15 minutes later by a bomb explosion at Immanuel
Church, only half a kilometer south of Anugerah Church. Witnesses said that
they were attending a church service when the bomb exploded in front of the
church’s entrance.

Binti Jaya, 60, a security guard in the church was seriously injured, while
two churchgoers Ani and Fina, traumatized by the blast were also taken to the
Salvation Army Hospital and treated for shock.

Police personnel secured the churches after the incident.

Brig. Gen. Aryanto Sutadi, the chief of Central Sulawesi Police, briefly
visited the churches and said that the police were tracking down the

The blast was caused by a low explosive bomb, Aryanto said after a preliminary

The shooting came five months after a similar shooting that left reverend
Susianti Tinulele, 29, dead. Susianti was shot dead by an unidentified man
while delivering a sermon in Effata Church in Palu in July this year. Four
others were also injured in the incident.

Palu is only a few hundred kilometers from the restive regency of Poso, where
major bloody conflict took place in 2000. The sectarian conflict left some
2,000 Muslims and Christians dead and dozens of others fled the area for
safety. Government-sponsored peace talks were held in 2002 to resolve the
conflict, but tension still grips Poso as intermittent attacks still occur in
the regency. On several occasions, attacks have also spread to Palu, as
evidenced in Sunday night’s incident.

Separately in Surabaya, Surabaya Police chief Sr. Comr. Eddy Kusuma Wijaya
said as quoted by Antara on Sunday that 332 churches in the city would be
tightly guarded by Surabaya Police during Christmas services to prevent
possible attacks.

The police have provided security at churches in the past few years following
simultaneous explosions in various churches nationwide on Christmas Eve in
2000 when at least 15 were killed and dozens of others injured.
The Jakarta
Headline News
December 14, 2004
SBY orders security tightened for holidays
Fabiola Desy Unidjaja and Ruslan Sangadji, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta/Palu

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered authorities on Monday to tighten
security ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays following attacks on
two churches in the Central Sulawesi capital of Palu.

“There should be extra security measures for the Christmas and New Year’s
celebrations. Intelligence operations will be conducted to prevent further
disturbances,” Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs
Widodo A.S. said after meeting with the President.

National Police chief Gen. Da’i Bachtiar also attended the meeting.

Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi said the President had summoned the two top
security officials to hear their reports on the latest developments in Palu,
where five people were injured in attacks on the Immanuel Church and Anugerah
Church on Sunday evening.

“The President ordered the police to increase their presence in potential hot
spots like Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Makassar, and to arrest the
perpetrators of the attacks in Palu as soon as possible,” Sudi said.

Indonesia was rocked by a string of bomb attacks on churches on Christmas Eve
four years ago. The attacks left 19 people dead and about 100 others injured.

The church bombings preceded a series of blasts targeting foreign interests in
Bali on Oct. 12, 2002, the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta on Aug. 5, 2003, and
the Australian Embassy in South Jakarta on Sept. 9, 2004. The Jamaah Islamiyah
regional terror group has been blamed for the bombings.

The church attacks in Palu are the latest in a series of attacks there,
including the murder in April of Ferry Silalahi, a prosecutor handling
terrorism cases, and the shooting death in July of a woman minister, Susianti

Da’i said the police were prepared to provide security during the Christmas
and New Year’s festivities. However, Sudi said the President suggested that
the police deploy more personnel and increase patrols to prevent attacks in
other parts of the country.

Palu Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Noman Siswandi was dismissed on Monday for
failing to prevent the church attacks on Sunday, which took place almost

“He (Siswandi) did not carry out orders to station extra personnel at houses
of worship. He should have provided better protection for churches,” Central
Sulawesi Police chief Brig. Gen. Aryanto Sutadi said.

Aryanto installed Adj. Sr. Comr. Guntur Widodo as his replacement.

Siswandi was transferred to Central Sulawesi Police Headquarters without a

Aryanto said Siswandi was removed from his post for failing to prevent the
church attacks on Sunday, as well as for his failure to stop or solve earlier

None of the killers of Ferry or Susianti have been captured, and a team set up
by Siswandi made several wrong arrests.

Aryanto said the police had received descriptions of the bombers of Immanuel
Church on Jl. Masjid Raya in South Palu after questioning about 15 witnesses.

The perpetrators had dark complexions and were riding a Yamaha F1ZR
motorcycle, Aryanto said, adding that before throwing a bomb at the church the
attackers opened fire on a 60-year-old security guard, Binti Jaya.

Four men carrying M-16 guns attacked Anugerah Church on Jl. Tanjung Manimbaya,
some 800 meters south of Immanuel Church, Aryanto said.

“They were riding a Yamaha RX King motorcycle with license plate number DN
5334 AF,” he said.

He said he believed the attackers were linked to the earlier murders of
Susianti and Ferry.
Crisis Centre Diocese Of Amboina
Jalan Pattimura 32 – Ambon 97124 – Indonesia
Tel 0062 (0)911 342195 Fax 0062 (0)911 355337
E-mail crisiscentre01 at

Ambon, November 30, 2004
The Situation In Ambon / Moluccas – Report No. 454

1. Returnees Not Welcome – Returning to their former homesteads is for a
number of refugees not only a matter of finances, but also depends on whether
they are still welcome to come back and live in peace with those by whom (in
most cases) they were expelled during the conflict. Feelings of fear for
revenge etc. are not unlikely; reclaiming land, crops and other property, too,
may fuel animosity.

Thus the residents in the Muslim subdistrict of Lisabata in West Ceram regency
told a group of visiting provincial administration officials recently that
they were not ready to live side by side with any returning residents of the
three neighbouring subdistricts of Nuniali, Wokolo and Patahue. They seemingly
do not trust those Christian people, accusing them of having attacked Lisabata
during the clashes back in 2000. Prior to the conflict there had already been
various minor hostilities in connection with the property of clove trees.

“If the government pushes ahead with its plan, we cannot be held responsible
if other clashes occur in the future,” said spokesman Jaida, supported by
dozens of Lisabata residents.

Of the 34 subdistricts in the Taniwel district, West Ceram, only three are
Muslim. Lisabata clashed with the neighbouring villagaes of Nuniali, Woloko
and Patahue in October 2000. The Lisabata residents then proved to be the
stronger group, forcing their rivals to take refuge to safer places. Moluccas
Deputy Governor Muhammad Abdullah Latuconsina, however, said that the
government would proceed with its plan to bring back all of the refugees to
their original locations. He asked the Lisabata residents to bury the hatchet
and forget any bitter experience in the past, and to head for a better future.

West Ceram is not the only place were returnees will encounter mistrust. Other
places that are still underway to be appeased include North East Ceram (town
of Bula area), the tiny island of Kasui, to the South East of Ceram, and
Northern Buru.

2. RMS Secretary Gets Nine Years ConfiNEMENT – Last Monday, November 29, 2004,
secretary-general of the Moluccas Sovereignty Front (FKM), Moses Tuanakotta,
was sentenced by the Ambon District Court to nine years in prison for
subversion. The sentence was six years lighter than what the prosecution had
demanded. Moses was found guilty of violating articles 106 and 110 of the
Criminal Code for leading a South Moluccas Republic (RMS) flag-raising
ceremony on April 25, 2004, which had also caused a week of public chaos, the
killing of more than forty people and the burning of people’s property (See
Report 421 sqq.). In its decision the court took into account the fact that
Moses was well mannered during the trial, had never been convicted of a crime
before and had a family to support.

3. Moluccas Export To Foreign Countries Still “Nihil” – Detikcom reports on a
meeting of the chief of the Provincial Industry and Trade Department (Dinas
Perindustrian dan Perdagangan Propinsi Maluku), Burhan Banjar, with local mass
media. Mr. Banjar praised the quality of various local home industry products,
such as the manufacture of shell tableaux in Batumerah, city of Ambon, but
which is now only popular among visiting tourists and not being sold abroad.
The spice-trade, too, came to a standstill when the conflict erupted at the
beginning of 1999 and up to now has not recovered yet.
One of the reasons of the dead-lock is the fear that security in this Province
is not fully guaranteed yet. However, this aspect has government priority,
said Mr. Banjar.

C.J. Böhm msc
Crisis Centre Diocese of Amboina
Crisis Centre Diocese Of Amboina
Jalan Pattimura 32 – Ambon 97124 – Indonesia
Tel 0062 (0)911 342195 Fax 0062 (0)911 355337
E-mail crisiscentre01 at

Ambon, December 4, 2004
The Situation In Ambon / Moluccas – Report No. 455

1. Kasui IDP-s – The little island of Kasui, to the South-East of Ceram
island, became world news when, under influence from outside, forced
Islamisation took place there, starting in November 2000. See Reports 96-154.
The Islamized Christians could at last be evacuated. Most of them (1.670
persons) have lived on the island of Kei-Kecil since then, others are staying
in Ambon, but they have never stopped striving to return to the land of their
ancestors. One of the latest serious attempts to this end was done in March
2004. See Report 416, where also is mentioned a series of reasons which prompt
some Muslims of Kasui to object to the return of the Christians (most of whom
are Catholics).

Last Wednesday, December 1, 2004, representatives of the Kasui refugees that
are spread over several locatons on the island of Kei Kecil, had a meeting in
Tual with deputy governor Mohammad (“Memet”) Abdullah Latuconsina. Latuconsina
reported to those present on his earlier visit to Kasui. He had discussed then
the return of the Christian refugees. Though some of the local people were not
engrossed with the idea of their Christian brothers returning to Kasui,
nevertheless the majority seemingly did not object to their return. A first
step, according to Lautconsina, will be the positioning of security posts on
Kasui. However, no date has been fixed yet for any returning.

2. Conflict Wakal-Mamua, Shooting In Pelauw – The Moluccas conflict 1999-2002
has its after effects up to now: people more rapidly resort to violence when a
conflict arises. A conflict between some youngsters from the Islam village of
Wakal and their counterparts from the Islam village of Mamua, district of
Leihitu (the northern peninsula of Ambon) led to the death of Ismael Wael from
Wakal, due to being stabbed with a knife, and four people being wounded.
Residents of Wakal then to ok revenge by attacking Mamua in the night
following December 2, resulting in the burning of 15 houses while several
dozen of houses were destructed. A Brimob police platoon that was sent there
to appease the conflicting parties, was not able to prevent these destructive
activities. However, a second attack by a group of masked men that tried to
invade via the shore, could be thwarted by the Brimob forces.

In Pelauw, island of Haruku, too, there happened some fighting, resulting in
two young men being injured by bullets.

C.J. Böhm msc
Crisis Centre Diocese of Amboina
Crisis Centre Diocese Of Amboina
Jalan Pattimura 32 – Ambon 97124 – Indonesia
Tel 0062 (0)911 342195 Fax 0062 (0)911 355337
E-mail crisiscentre01 at

Ambon, December 11, 2004
The Situation In Ambon / Moluccas – Report No. 456

1. Alertness Towards Any Provocation – Referring to recent irregularities,
Moluccas Police Chief Aditya Warman interprets them as provocative. Warman has
in mind fighting between villages as happened between Pelauw vs. Kailolo,
Wakal vs. Mamua, also between several villages in South Buru. Elsewhere
tenseness seems to be building up as well.

Following these armed attacks in the area – in which usually all kinds of
weaponry turn up, including firearms – the police recently conducted a door-to-
door search on weaponry in three subdistricts in the Central Moluccas. Various
types of rifles, ammunition and homemade bombs were confiscated.

2. Unrest In Halmahera: One Killed – Two workers of an unregistered goldmine
near the village of Waringin, North Halmahera, Province of the North Moluccas,
had a serious quarrel, resulting in the death of one of them, named Syahmir
Ibrahim, a local resident. The killer was Ade Djae, a transmigrant. Following
this sad event, local residents started to attack all transmigrants, forcing
them to flee to safety to the local Brimob police quarters. The attackers then
destroyed and burned the transmigrants’ tents.

3. Demonstration By Muslim Students – On December 9, many students of the
STAIN (Sekolah Tinggi Agama Islam Negeri Ambon = Ambon Muslim faculty of
Religion) protested against their academic title – “Sarjana Pendidikan” (more
or less: bachelor of Education) – to be changed into “Sarjana Pendidikan
Islam” (bachelor of Islamic Education). 97 Students said they refused to
receive this bachelor title (which they should receive today, Saturday
December 12); 700 Students are making threats to go over to another
university. The demonstration got out of hand when one of the lecturers drove
his car into the rows of students. STAIN chairman Mohammad Attamini went up to
meet the angry students, saying that he could not comply to their wish since
the title modification was ordered by the Department of Religion in Jakarta.

4. Minister Kidnapped – On December 2, a Pentecostal Minister, Jarok Ratu, was
kidnapped from his house in South Buru by eight men, who – having looted the
house – took him with them in their speedboat. The kidnappers might have hoped
to find certain funds in cash, in connection with the current construction of
a new church. On December 10, one of the kidnappers was arrested by the police
at Leksula, South Buru. The minister has not turned up yet.

5. E-Mail Address Diocese Of Amboina – The new e-mail address of the Diocese
of Amboina is: keuskupan_amboina at thus replacing the former address:
keu_ab at

C.J. Böhm msc
Crisis Centre Diocese of Amboina


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: