Violence erupts in Bima, Sumbawa island

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Tue, 01/25/2000 12:00 AM

MATARAM, West Nusa Tenggara (JP): As Mataram returned to normal after beingrocked by sectarian violence last week, the town of Bima on the island of Sumbawa was hit by riots on Sunday.

Antara news agency reported on Monday that a place of worship and a housewere set ablaze by a mob in the village of Mbawa in the Donggo district of Bima. The island of Sumbawa is east of Lombok.

Bima Police chief Lt. Col. Burhanuddin Andi confirmed the incident on Monday, saying that around 30 people, including students, torched and damaged the place of worship and a house belonging to an official at the place of worship. He did not reveal if the place of worship was a church ora mosque, but said that it was located some 60 kms west of Bima.

“”The place of worship is at least one kilometer away from residential areas, enabling the rioters to freely burn the building,”” he said. Three other places of worship were saved from the anger of the mob, he added.

Many people assume the mob hailed from another village. No one has been arrested over the incident.

“”A team has been established to investigate the case,”” Burhanuddin said.

The situation in Mbawa village and Raba was under control he said. “”Locals are active in maintaining the peace.””

In a related development, West Nusa Tenggara Governor Harun Al Rasyid stated that a good Muslim was a Muslim who never disturbed others.

When officiating at an Ababil, a local civilian militia group, ceremony in Central Lombok on Monday, the governor said there must have been provocateurs behind the recent Mataram mayhem. “”Don’t let the provocateurs roam around this area.”” he said.

Bali

Meanwhile, at least 25 youth and student organizations on Bali have set up an umbrella organization to prevent sectarian conflict from occurring onthe island.

The Indonesian Muslim Student Association (HMI) and the Indonesian Catholic Students Association (PMKRI) are among the student organizations who have joined the umbrella organization.

Chairman of the Indonesian Hindu Dharma Student Association Gentry F. Amalo officially announced the establishment of the umbrella organization, called the Communique of Peace Lovers, in Denpasar on Monday.

“”We are trying to heal the wreck of religious harmony, which has been ruined by a series of violent incidents”” Gentry said.

Dozens of banners calling for peace were erected in all corners of Bali as a preliminary step in the peace campaign.

The communique has raised funds for the victims of religious clashes in Mataram, and members of the communique are also active as volunteer workersat refugees camps.

“”We just want to prove that solidarity can be built between people of different races and religions, and that, finally, humanity is beyond everything,”” he said. (zen/sur)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2000/01/24/violence-erupts-bima-sumbawa-island.html

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