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Harian Berita Sore

Harian Berita Sore, Kamis, 29 Desember 2005

Muslim, Christian To Lustre Up Ambon New Year's Eve Celebration

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 Saturday evening.

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 provincial administation.

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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