Skip to comments.Poso on Code Red Alert
Posted on 12/03/2003 12:16:26 AM PST by miltonim
As missiles, bombs and bullets light up the sky, Poso goes on to the highest alert, Code Red (Siaga 1). The danger, terror and psychological war continue to escalate and Christians huddle in their homes, praying, weeping, and wondering.
Didnt the Government say it was under control? Didnt they say that it was only a few radicals? Didnt they warn us not to have arms and guarantee to protect us? Then why is this still continuing? Why dont they arrest the masterminds and the terrorists? they ask.
Just five days ago the two top security leaders, Cabinet Minister for Security, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and the Chief of the Indonesian Police, Maj. Gen Dai Baktiar, said it was only rumors that there were attacks going on or planned and that all was under control. Try telling that to the residents of Pantangolemba, Tonipa, Poso, Kawua, Buyumbuyo, Ranononcu, Sepe, Bategencu, Sepe and Matako who have all been shot at or subjected to psychological warfare with persistent firing of automatic weapons into the evening sky, the blasting of bombs and even physical attacks in the last week.
Todays Media Indonesia, a national Jakarta daily newspaper reports:
Post-Lebaran Poso Still on Code 1 Security Alert
The District of Poso, Central Sulawesi, is still under Code 1 Security Alert, after a number of violent incidents in the last month such as explosions of bombs, kidnappings, and rounds of gunfire shot into the air.
The Poso Chief of Police, AKB Abdi Darma, who was contacted by Media via telephone from Palu yesterday, stated that the implementation of the Security Alert was based upon intelligence information that the escalation of tension is going to increase. There are pamphlets still circulating outlining plans of attacks by both sides [of the conflict] in Poso, he said.
To prevent any undesirable consequences, the Police Chief said that his people had prepared a 3300 member combined security force in Poso. 900 of these are from the army (TNI). We have mobilized all our forces to guarantee security in 46 locations in the Poso region, said the Police Chief.
This large-scale mobilization, said Abdi, has been implemented due to information from the field, that the security forces operating there will become the targets of mass anger and protests. The Police Chief also requested that the local population should not be easily provoked by the pamphlets being circulated which are aimed at inciting conflict among them.
There are a number of points that need to be commented on due to the impression that is being falsely conveyed.
Firstly, the comments by the Police Chief, Abdi Darma, imply that there is a two-side conflict going on. This is not the case. It was true in 2000 and 2001, but it is not true today.
At Christmas 1998 the Christian community in Poso was the victim of an unprovoked attack that resulted in 180 homes and shops being destroyed. The Christians turned the other cheek and there was no war, just a one-sided attack from which the Christians fled. Gradually they returned during the following three months. At Easter 2000 a second unprovoked attack occurred and over 1000 homes, shops and churches of Christians were raised to the ground and 15 Christians killed. The Christians turned the other cheek. Then in early May 2000, plans to assassinate Church leaders and to conduct further attacks were discovered along with supplies of homemade bombs. These were handed in to the police, but no action was forthcoming. None of the masterminds or attackers was arrested. Then the Governor met with the Christian leaders and told them that this had all happened as punishment from Allah because of their arrogance and that they must learn to accept their fate. The planned date for attacks against the Christian community drew near and the Christians felt they had no more cheeks to turn, so they launched a counter-attack on May 23, 2000.
The ensuing battles lasted for two weeks with many casualties on both sides and many thousands of homes destroyed. One week into the battles, in an attempt to broker a peace deal, a Christian leader, Mr. Lateka, agreed to meet with Muslim leaders in the Poso mosque, and exchanges of guarantees of safety had been made. However, when Mr. Lateka arrived at the mosque, he was immediately assassinated. He was shot several times and was beheaded. The following week the fighting intensified and the Muslims had more killed, but the Christians lost more homes, shops and churches. Some 700 people died. In these battles the Christian warriors known as the reds or the black bats, while the Muslims were known as the whites.
Regrettably, in some of the incidents that took place, the Christians overstepped the mark of decency and the rules of war. As a consequence three Christian leaders, Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva Soares and Don Marinus Riwu, three Catholic Christians from Flores living in Poso, were brought to trial and sentenced to death. No Muslim leaders have ever been arrested and charged over any of the attacks that they have launched and many Christians question whether any justice is possible in Indonesia. If the Government had acted firmly and justly after the first, and even more so after the second round of attacks and arrested the perpetrators, then there would not have been a counter attack from the Christian community.
After June 2000, the Christians seeing the level of destruction that had occurred retreated and ceased all attacks against the Muslim community. Many attempts were made to bring reconciliation, but the Muslim community continued to reject the hand of reconciliation from the Christians.
Shortly afterward, the Laskar Jihad and Laskar Jundullah began to increase their troops in the area, a build up which eventually resulted in the violence continuing to the present day.
Since the Malino Accord in December 2001, the Christians have been without weapons, have made no attacks against the Muslim community and actively sought reconciliation. In the same period more than 25 Christian villages have been attacked, over 4000 homes destroyed and more than 100 Christians killed. It is no longer true to say it is a two-sided conflict. It is a massacre with one side armed with modern military weapons and Al Qaeda trained attacking defenseless villagers in their farming or fishing communities.
Secondly, the Police Chief states that there are pamphlets from both sides with their plans of attacks. Where are they? There are plenty of pamphlets and even a secret circular letter to prove the Islamic intentions but there is no such document from the Christians. Such statements as that made by the Police Chief, who himself is under suspicion of being in collaboration with these terrorists, are designed to placate outside concerns by giving the false impression that it is just communal conflict. It is not. It is religious genocide and until this root problem is comprehended and dealt with, the attacks will continue, the Christians will be terrorized and massacred, while the rest of the world sleeps in peace.
Come on world, wake up! The innocent, the babes, the old and the helpless are being subjected to horrific terror. Who cares enough to do something about it? Do you?
Muslims are all for peace and reconciliation as long as they are in the minority. Once they have power, the rules change and the goal becomes to convert or kill everyone else. Muhammed has shown the way.