[INDONESIA-L] KMP - Riots in Sambas

From: apakabar@Radix.Net
Date: Sun Mar 21 1999 - 15:53:00 EST


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Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 17:17:46 -0700 (MST)
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Subject: [INDONESIA-L] KMP - Riots in Sambas, Victims Rise to 101 Dead
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X-URL: http://www.kompas.com/kompas-cetak/9903/22/ENGLISH/agai.htm
   Monday, 22 March 1999
   Riots in Sambas
   Again, hundreds of houses burnt down.\* Victims become 101 persons
   
   Sambas, Kompas Online
   
   The riots at the Regency of Sambas (West Kalimantan) was till Sunday
   (III/21) still not calmed down. The mass continued to go berserk,
   causing the dead of five persons and destroying hundreds of houses of
   Madurese and six villages at the District of Sambas, about 230 km from
   Pontianak.
   
   With that addition of deaths, the riots in Sambas took since its start
   last week at least 101 persons. This figure is estimated to be more,
   considering the corpses which are left in the forest or which are
   directly buried by the local citizens. While the number of houses
   which are set afire from the seven districts reached 1,800 units.
   
   Saturday night the mass also besieged the villages Rambaian,
   Sempadian, Sagarau, Segarang, Paritbaru, Paritsetia at the District of
   Tebas and the District of Jawai, which locations are isolated being
   divided by the Great Sambas River.
   
   The mass was using motor boats to the settlements of the newcomers
   from Madura. Hundreds of houses were burnt and tens of corpses were
   found in the bloody incident. But the authorities were not yet willing
   to give a formal clarification in this case.
   
   The highway between Singkawang and Sambas still looked deserted. Cars
   going that northern route of West Kalimantan were scarce. Groups of
   the mass were still seen at the corners of the road.
   
   But since the afternoon the joint forces of the Army and Police
   launched an operation for sharp weapons and fire arms at the main
   road. "We shall sweep clean those weapons in order that the riots will
   not continue," said the Commander of Korem 121/ABW Colonel (Inf) Encip
   Kadarusman. The operation was launched in the region of Sungaidaun,
   the District of Selakau, the Regency of Sambas and also at the region
   of Mempawah, the Regency of Pontianak.
   
   To assist in the pacification of Sambas two units of company level
   (SSK) each with a strength of 100 soldiers of the Airborne Infantry
   Battalion 612/Modang and the Mobile Brigade of the Police of East
   Kalimantan were sent Saturday from the air base Sepinggan Balikpapan
   to Pontianak with using two Hercules planes from the Air Force.
   
   The police chief of East Kalimantan, Brigadier General (Pol) Crist
   Soepontjo who was sided by the Chief of Staff of Regional Military
   Command VI/Tanjungpura, Brigadier General Yudo Wibowo sent the troops
   off. Soepontjo was representing the Territorial Military Commander
   VI/Tanjungpura Major General Zainuri Hs and reminded, that all
   soldiers who were dropped at the area of the riots had the main task
   to pacify and reconcile the conflicting parties, and not to add the
   chaos. "Therefore you must perform your task in the best way," he
   clarified.
   
   Thousands evacuated
   
   While at the incident at Jawai and Tebas, the obtained information
   said that the attack to the settlement of the Madurese happened,
   because earlier a child of the village chief of Rambaian at the
   District of Tebas named Mahrus was killed Saturday morning. During the
   night the mass came by motorboat crossing the Great Sambas river,
   complete with sharp weapons and self made fire arms.
   
   In that attack, tens of persons were found dead, seventeen among them
   called "criminals who caused uneasiness of the local population." Four
   hundred houses, 50 motor bikes and 50 cars were burnt by the mass.
   
   Hundreds of persons were evacuated with coasters which were at Natuna
   Sea, going to Pontianak. While about 6,000 other refugees from the
   village of Rambaian (Tebas) are now safeguarded by two companies of
   security troops. Saturday evening they were transported by ships from
   the Navy.
   
   The Commander of the Pontianak naval base Sea Colonel Uray Asnol Kabri
   said that the Navy mobilized two men-of-war, namely the KRI Imam
   Bonjol and the KRI Teluksabang and one Nomad reconnaissance plane to
   assist the refugees. The two KRI arrived in Pontianak 14.30 afternoon
   and the evening arrived at Sintete harbor, Pamangkat, Sambas Regency.
   
   The capacity of KRI Teluksabang is about 1,000 persons, while the KRI
   Imam Bonjol was assigned to safeguard. The task of safeguarding was
   led by the Commander of the Combat Group of the Armada RI Command of
   the Western area of the Navy, Admiral Sumardjono.
   
   Fever and Diarrhea
   
   The health condition of the thousands of victims of the riots in the
   Regency of Sambas who evacuated to Pontianak is now ever more
   alarming. Hundreds of refugees are attacked by diarrhea, fever,
   pneumonia and hemorrhage, in general children under five year.
   
   The official of the Health Command Post dr Isman Ramadhi clarified
   Sunday in Pontianak that the attacks of those illnesses are suspected
   caused by the very weak physical condition and the unclean food and
   environment of the refugees location. This bad condition is worsened
   by stress so that they are easily attacked by illnesses.
   
   He said that since Friday till Sunday 299 patients came for medical
   treatment of the refugees, seven of them were forced to be sent to the
   Regional Public Hospital Soedarso in Pontianak for intensive care.
   
   This amount is estimated to add continuously on the following days,
   particularly for the under fives. The phenomenon started to be evident
   on Sunday. Of the 80 treated patients 18 under fives had diarrhea and
   25 others suffered from fever and pneumonia.
   
   Still difficult
   
   The government of West Kalimantan has still difficulty in finding a
   place to accommodate the refugees. The sport hall Pangsuma which was
   first counted on as alternative to shelter the refugees -- after five
   other locations were full -- proved only to be able to accommodate
   2,000 refugees. Whereas the refugees who arrived at Pontianak on
   Sunday reached 3,160 souls.
   
   Therefore, according to the Regional Secretary of West Kalimantan
   Ibrahim Salim, his side was attempting a warehouse for nine basic
   commodities located at the Wajok region, about 15 km North of
   Pontianak, It is estimated that that warehouse can accommodate 3,000
   persons.
   
   Besides that the West Kalimantan government is also looking for other
   locations which are considered safe enough as a place for refugees.
   Because at this moment there are still around 9,000 refugees not yet
   transported from the Sambas Residency.
   
   The need for sheltering is also for accommodating 2,742 refugees who
   are presently sheltered at the Haj Barracks. Because the maximum
   capacity of those barracks is only 1,000 persons while it is already
   filled with 3,742 souls.
   
   Till Sunday night the amount of refugees who arrived in Pontianak were
   estimated 8,000 souls. Of those, 6,403 were sheltered at the places
   for refugees while the balance was taken up by their families in
   Pontianak and the surrounding regions.
   
   Limitted support
   
   Data from the Regional Office of the Social Department of West
   Kalimantan stated that the support of food for the refugees who
   entered the Command Posts was still very limitted. The more because
   the refugees will probably stay for quite a long time. The cooked rice
   is estimated two tons per day. The available rice stock at this moment
   remains 18 ton.
   
   While for food for the refugees, the Regional Office of the Social
   Affairs Department is proposing to the Social Affairs Department in
   Jakarta to add from Rp 1,500 to Rp3,000 per person per day. The
   consideration is that the index is not in accordance anymore with the
   development of the price of vegetables in the market. "This is only a
   proposal. The decision is up to the Social Affairs Minister," the Head
   of the Regional Office of the Social Affairs Department of West
   Kalimantan Suyatno Yuwono said.
   
   The case of riots in Sambas which caused tens of deaths and similar
   riots in Ambon, Ketapang, Banyuwangi and other regions are suspected
   intentionally to let fall the government's credibility. Therefore the
   government is asked to settle the problem immediately, while ABRI is
   pressed to disclose the group of provocateurs and intellectual actor
   behind all these riots.
   
   This clarification was conveyed by the General Chairman of the Central
   Board of the United Development Party (PPP) Hamzah Has in Solo,
   Sunday.
   
   In Denpasar Bali the spiritual leader of sepuh Gedong Bagoes Oka,when
   speaking in the Reflection Study to be Active Without Violence
   (SR-ATK), Sunday in Kuta said that the chain of riots which held the
   Indonesian in its grip could only be stopped if all components of the
   nation were aware that the root of violence is in their hearts. But
   first there had to be an effort of the leaders of the nation to find
   peace with themselves.
   
   The agenda was arranged by the Central Board of the Muhammadiyah Youth
   Association (PP IRM) in cooperation with the Asia Foundation. The
   SR-ATK lasted four days and was attended by 33 participants from
   various regions.(*)