From email@example.com Wed Mar 24 20:40:36 1999
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 18:39:29 -0700 (MST)
Subject: [INDONESIA-L] KMP - Riot in Sambas, Tens of Corpses Found
Thursday, 25 March 1999
Riot in Sambas, tens of corpses found
* Religious scholars: Don't send Madurese home
Sambas, Kompas Online
The remote area at the Sambas Regency, West Kalimantan like the
districts of Paloh and Telukkeramat at the northern end, was till
Wednesday (III/24) still covered by tension. At the two districts
which can only be reached with crossing the Great Sambas river, tens
of corpses were found and hundreds of houses which were set on fire.
With said finding it means that the number of deaths since the riot
erupted at the beginning of last week, increased to 176 souls. The
data obtained by Kompas from Command Post I of the Regional Government
of West Kalimantan said that besides the deaths, 2,324 houses were
burnt and 161 houses were destroyed.
The last report mentioned that 400 Madurese were strayed away at
Sematan harbor, Lundu, about 108 km from Kuching, the capital of the
State of Serawak, East Malaysia, Friday early in the morning, about
02.00 departed again back to Pontianak by mv Anugerah Makmur. The
number of strayed persons were actually 411 persons. but one family
consisting of three souls were forced to be "entrusted" in Lundu
because the Mother just gave birth.
Information of the LO of the police at the RI consulate in Kuching
Major (Pol) Herwan Chaidir said that they strayed to Serawak when they
want to keep away from the riots in West Kalimantan.
The Madurese who came from the village Paloh at Pemangkat, West
Kalimantan. left Paloh last Tuesday with destination Pontianak. Along
the road the motor vessel Perniati where they went on board was
attacked so that they turned in the direction of Sematan, Ludu. The
arrival of the refugees caused uneasiness for the Malaysian government
so that they were immediately returned to Indonesia. The mv Anugerah
Makmur was especially sent from Pontianak to fetch mentioned refugees.
Madurese religious scholars
Meanwhile the Madurese religious scholars in their written statement
signed by KHR Fuad Amin Imron stated that the Madurese society --
apart from their shortcomings--. very much appreciated other ethnics
and easily had intercourse and adapted with other citizens without
discriminating race, religion or ethnicity. They were also well known
for being tough in the challenges of life, so that they had much
success in all their enterprises which were spread over whole
Indonesia since centuries ago. They were also very obedient and true
towards government regulations as a society of a nation and a state.
Therefore, the statement continued, the Madurese scholars stated their
deepest concern and condolences for the victims of the Sambas tragedy
which happened between ethnic Dayak and Malayan groups and Madurese
ethnics which has sacrificed many lives, possessions and human values.
To appeal to the government, particularly the Armed Forces apparatus
as well as the RI Police to take immediately clear and exact steps
without taking sides, and to appeal to the government to guarantee the
security and safety of the ethnic Madurese souls which are in a
cornered position. and to protect, safeguard and return the rights of
the ethnic Madurese which were obtained in years with great difficulty
and are now looted, seized and burned by other ethnic groups.
Besides that to urge the government to hold immediately a national
reconciliation, particularly among the clashing ethnic groups in West
Kalimantan. "The Madurese in West Kalimantan are asked to increase
unity and integrity, vigilance and have a deep patience and
resignation in facing the afflictions and calamity with increasing
prayers for forgiveness and prayers to Allah SWT," Fuad Amin Imron
The Madurese religious scholars also appealed to the government not to
send the Madurese who for years has lived in West Kalimantan home to
Madura, conform their rights as citizens, in order not to create new
problems, because West Kalimantan is a part of the territory of the
Unitarian State of the Republic of Indonesia.
The tension at the district of Paloh, about 300 km from Pontianak
happened since last Monday at midnight. But till Wednesday afternoon
yesterday the mass was still seen with yellow and red head bands. A
part was still burning houses and cars owned by Madurese.
The burnt houses were located at the villages of Tanah Hitam, Malek,
Nibung at the District of Telukkeramat, and in Liku (capital of the
district of Palioh), the villages Sebubus and Setinggak. The amount
was more than 500 units.
A gripping atmosphere still covered also the villages of Senangi and
Lela, the district of Telukkeramat north of the Sambas Regency. In
this village, according to an eye witness, about 200 houses were burnt
by the mass and tens of corpses were found, killed by the mass Tuesday
afternoon till night. Tens of others laid in the forest around
About 150 security forces from the PPRM
(Mass Riots Suppressing Force) arrived in the afternoon at Paloh. They
arrived at the Telukkalong pier (Telukkeramat) after the trucks which
carried them crossed the Great Sambas river with a ferry KMP Merawan
II. The troops were led by the police chief of Sambas Lieutenant
Colonel (Pol) M Nurdin and the Deputy Commander of the PPRM Lieutenant
Colonel (Pol) Johnny W Usman. The PPRM troops will be spread at the
two remote districts.
The wave of refugees from the Sambas regency still continues.
Wednesday about 2,800 souls arrived at Pontianak, among them three
women who just two days gave birth, Mrs Midah (21), Mrs Saritah (22)
and Mrs Sari'ah (35). The mothers and babies are in good health.
Already 16,500 refugees are estimated in Pontianak but only around
13,191 are sheltered at the refugee centers. The balance is taken up
by their families.
The Pontianak municipality administration has instructed the village
chiefs (lurah) to record the new citizens, to facilitate supervision
and coordination in the effort to rehabilitate and relocate the
refugees after the social riots. (*)