Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Intelligence investigations hope to find killer

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Former Wirabuana Military Commander Suaidi Marassabesy has expressed hope that the government, especially its security agencies, will intensify intelligence operations as well as security-maintenance efforts to uncover the mystery behind the recent spate of acts of violence and terror in the conflict-prone Central Sulawesi towns of Palu and Poso. "The local administration also needs to hold more frequent meetings with related community figures to find the best possible solution to the continuing horizontal conflict in Poso," he said. The Poso conflict began on December 1, 1998 when Suaidi Marassabesy was serving as Wirabuana VII Military Commander. He immediately came to Poso for dialogs with local community figures, especially with leaders of the Muslim community, after the first clashes happened. "I went from mosque to mosque to meet with the public and religious figures in a bid to remedy the situation. After the root of the problem and its solution were found, the conflict was brought under control in only three days, although it flared up again a few months later," Marassabesy said. According to him, the conflict in Poso was not as big as that in Maluku but its solution was more difficult because it was related to several factors.

He said the first factor that had contributed to the Poso conflict was the region`s width and strategic geographic location as a transit point for members of radical movements.

The second was the fact that the Poso district administration`s center was physically far removed from the provincial administration in Palu.

The third factor, according to the former Wirabuana Military commander, was the role of third parties in infiltrating the region and indoctrinating locals.

I see, you must be talking about terrorist group Laskar Jihad, invited and welcomed by local Muslims and government officials. How is being welcomed with open arms, infiltrating? They were given a free reign by the military and police. Any lower ranking military that tried to crack down on LJ was disciplined and over ruled by the government and generals in the military. And what about the local politicians, businessmen and military? You failed to mention them.

"In light of all this, the government should hold dialogs as often as possible with Poso`s local community by inviting outside figures as mediators to solve the problem thoroughly," Marassabesi said. He made the remarks to comment on Monday`s shooting of a Christian minister, Reverend Irianto Kongkoli, in religiously-divided Central Sulawesi province. The minister, who was also general secretary of the Central Sulawesi Communion of Churches, was gunned down as he and his wife were at a building materials shop in south Palu.

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