Thu, 25 May 2000

Maluku violence

Sincere respect and praise should be addressed to the chief of Pattimura Military Command Brig. Gen. Max Tamaela for his fair and persistent stand over the violence in Maluku. He is one of the few officers who can differentiate rioters from demonstrators and knows when and in what conditions soldiers have the right to open fire.

The recent violence in Maluku was no doubt triggered by the provocative Laskar Jihad Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah. In the first place, the Laskar Jihad group was established with the aim to fight the Christian group in Maluku and not to provide humanitarian aid to the Muslim group. But, surprisingly, officers in Surabaya were not aware or pretended not to be aware of this, and did not dare stop the group from departing to Maluku. Was it because most of the officers were Muslim and they half-heatedly conducted a weapon search, the result of which was easy to predict: nil.

The people of this republic just want to see peace restored in Maluku and other areas of conflict. If the Laskar Jihad wants to provide humanitarian aid, the aid should go to both Muslims and Christians as human beings. Is this simple analogy hard to get into the mind? I am neither a Muslim nor a Christian. I am a Buddhist and Buddhism teaches how we should love other human beings. Only with love, not violence, will peace in Maluku will really exist.