Tue, 25 Jan 2000

Approaches to violence

Not long ago President Abdurrahman Wahid announced that people in Maluku (and everywhere) should solve their conflicts by themselves, and the government would not interfere. This kind of approach results in crushing of the minority by the majority.

Perhaps he has learned from the tragedy in North Maluku and the violence in Mataram, Lombok, because the President now says a different thing. He said that "evil hands" had been at work. Thus his objective was to calm down the angry masses in other areas. He added that "violence did happen, but not that bad". He then ordered that the rioters be arrested and, if necessary, shot on sight.

I am puzzled by his different views on handling the events. Does he have a great obsession to protect the minority?