CRISIS CENTRE DIOCESE OF AMBOINA
Ambon, May 26, 2001
THE SITUATION IN AMBON / MOLUCCAS Report no. 185
1. SOLDIERS LYNCHED It happened yesterday morning at about 10.00 am in the christian neighbourhood of OSM (between Batugantung and Gudang Arang). Three males in terrorist-like clothing and behaving in a suspicious way, were murdered by a mass of people. Only afterwards it was known that they were intelligence military sergeants underway to their quarters at Tapal Kuda, Airsalobar. Their names: Djoko, Hariyanto and Tuahuns. Military Chief Commander I Made Yassa felt upset and greatly disappointed that this had happened. However he said the military will not seek vengeance, but we will handle this sad happening according to law.
2. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION TEAM A criminal investigation team ( recherche ) will be set up immediately by the police (100 men) together with the military (10 men) to try and enforce justice and law in Ambon and the surrounding villages. They will be available during 24 hours daily.
3. REFUSING INTERVENTION Military Chief Commander I Made Yassa, when asked about his opinion concerning the plea by the Bishop of Amboina, indirectly supported by the Chairman of the Synod, to send U.N. Security Forces to the Moluccas, firmly refused such option. He referred to the recent conducive period of four months, when even was suggested to reduce the number of military in the Moluccas. If this new escalation of the conflict is caused by the RMS, we will just stamp out this RMS, he said.
4. ETHNIC CLEANSING Christian FKM leader Dr.Alex Manuputty declared to Siwalima daily: The recent actions of terrorism in Ambon are aimed at annihilation of all Alif uru people, both muslims and christians . He advised all Moluccans to be cautious and watchful, especially those whose houses lay somewhat isolated at the border of the town or villages. There are indications he said that these intruders come from Jakarta and are not familiar with local topography, because they make use of locals to guide them to certain spots. There are also indications he said that these terrorists each receive a remuneration of 3 million rupiahs (US$ 300.-). He further declared that he had given the alarm to the international community, to which the USA Embassy in Jakarta had already responded.
5. TENSENESS Since a few days in the christian quarters many roads have been barricaded. Yesterday the rumour was spread that a large-scale attack by muslims was imminent, so that many people refrained form their daily business. This morning an autocar with christian policemen was seriously threatened when passing the muslim neighbourhood of Galunggung. This event inflamed christians who in mass came to the police headquarters at Batumeja. The police fired warning fusillades in order to master the situation.
6. URGING THE GOVERNOR TO RESIGN It is more and more heard on all levels that Governor M.Saleh Latuconsina should at last acknowledge that he is not able to protect the population of the Moluccas and to end the conflict. This is not only the opinion of the upper echelon, but also of the grassroots like it was expressed by one of their leaders, Emang Nikijuluw: To end the conflict in the Moluccas, Saleh Latuconsina must be replaced as the governor of the Moluccas .
7. DISMAL SITUATION OF THE REFUGEES IN THE KEI-ISLANDS Sister Francesco telephoned us from the Kei-Islands that the situation among the refugees in Kei most of all among those from Kesui is most desolate. They have scant supply of many things and especially suffer from trauma caused by what they have gone through and by their present situation.
She also reported on a well-organized (interconfessional) soccer happening in Langgur, in which more than 50 teams take part. The opening ceremony was scheduled to be performed by the Ambassador of the Netherlands, however his vist to the Kei-Islands had been cancelled (see Report 182, no.2), so this Sister was given the honour instead!
Received via e-mail from : Crisis Centre Diocese of Amboina