Thu, 06 Jan 2000

Patience and fairness needed

From Rakyat Merdeka

The regrettable Ambon clashes have not only resulted in many people being killed, but also giving the image of Indonesia as a violent nation. In fact, we were known as a patient, polite and hospitable nation.

The recent situation is like a nightmare because many people -- officials, mothers and children -- were killed.

To restore Ambon's reputation and the good image of Indonesia, I call on the communities in Maluku to abide by their respective religions correctly and unemotionally.

Peace will never come if we do not live in accordance with our religious values. So, the fundamental thing is how to arouse our religious awareness and how to enhance our solidarity and to throw away our hostile attitude to our brothers.

I know it will take time to achieve, but as the first step, try to live in harmony within the family and among neighbors. Then, the next step is always respect others and let your conscience be your guide. Meanwhile, the key for all of this is patience and fair actions.