From email@example.com Sun Mar 21 19:19:11 1999
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 1999 17:17:46 -0700 (MST)
Subject: [INDONESIA-L] KMP - Riots in Sambas, Victims Rise to 101 Dead
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
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
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 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.
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
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.
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,
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