Harian Berita Sore, Kamis, 29 Desember 2005
Muslim, Christian To Lustre Up Ambon New Year's Eve
Ambon, Maluku ( Berita ) : Hundreds of Muslim and Christian actors and actresses
are scheduled to lustre up a New year's eve celebration at Merdeka Square here on
Frangky Mewar, coordinator of the the New Year's Eve celebration said here on
Thursday the event would be staged in accordance with a directive from Maluku
Governor Karel Albert Ralahalu.
He said the participation of Muslim and Chritian actors and actresses in the festivity
was intended to strengthen the reconciliation process following the sectarian clashes
in the period between January 19, 1999 and 2002 which claimed more than 5,000 lives
and left tens of thousands homeless.
"The reconciliation process has so far run well but the particip! ation of the actors and
actresses of both religions in the celebaration is expected to be a good momentum for
better interaction between local Muslims and Christians to further boost the
restoration of peaceful conditions in the province," he said.
He said the music at the party would be produced by a mixture of traditional and
mordern instruments with Muslim and Christian nuances as have always
characterized Maluku culture.
"We have been instructed by the governor to revive the traditional culture of Maluku as
an asset to develop the tourist sector in the province," Frangky said, adding that the
New Year's Eve par! ty would also be enlivened by fire crackers to be provided by the
The participation of Muslim and Christian actors and actresses in the event was also
supported by the chairmen of provincial Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Idrus Toekan,
the chairman of the Maluku Protestant Church Synod Rev John Ruhulesin and
Amboina Diocese Bishop P. C. Mandagie.
The relgious leaders said the New Year's Eve celebration would hopefully help to
make the outside world realize that the conflict that engulfed Maluku in the past was
not religiously motivated although the protagonists used religious symbols to spark !
the emotions of followeres of different religions.
They said the people of Maluku would no longer be provoked in the same way
because they now realize that their past conflict had brought them nothing but untold
misery and suffering. (ant)
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