South Moluccas: Ambons Bishop appeals to UN and the world for peace in Moluccas
Today Msgr Peter Canisius Mandagi, Bishop of Amboina, dispatched an SOS Message in English and Indonesian “to the United Nation and all countries” to help bringing peace to Ambon and Moluccas.. After providing information on the origin of the current crisis, “which causes much suffering to the civilians of the city of Ambon”, the bishop says that “there seems no way out”. Therefore he asks the UN and all the countries “to safeguard the rights of the people of Ambon to live in security in this city”. If the violence cannot be stopped, he askes the international community “ to help and evacuate those Ambon people that want to live in peace, to places outside Ambon, outside the Moluccas or even outside Indonesia where they can live without fear or disturbance”.
Here follows the dramatic appeal:
Herewith the Diocese of Amboina, Ambon, Moluccas, Indonesia, addresses the UNITED NATIONS and ALL COUNTRIES in the world providing the following information:
1. On April 25, 2004, a ceremony was held in Ambon on the occasion of the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of the South Moluccas (Republik Maluku Selatan – RMS). The police force of the Republic of Indonesia intervened, detained 24 people and secured them at the police headquarters to be interrogated.
2. To a crowd of RMS adherents, who had accompanied those detained, to the police headquarters, their way home was blocked by another crowd that called itself “Pro-NKRI” (NKRI = Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia = The Undivided Republic of Indonesia).
3. That was the starting-point of severe turmoil in the city of Ambon which has been going on up to this moment.
4. For five days on a row the turbulence has been going on, manifesting itself in the burning of houses and public facilities, killing of people, shooting all over the town and people’s fleeing for safety.
5. Evaluating the latest condition of which there seems to be no way out and which causes much suffering to the civilians of the city of Ambon,
WE HEREWITH APPEAL TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND ALL NATIONS:
1. To safeguard the rights of the people of Ambon to live in security in this city.
2. To urge the Indonesian Government, particularly the Central Government, to put an end as soon as possible to:
A. All mutual attacking between Muslim and Christian groups
B. All burning and destroying of houses and public facilities.
3. To help in caring for the victims of this violence, especially the refugees whose number is increasing day by day.
4. If the violence cannot be stopped, to help and evacuate those Ambon people that want to live in peace, to places outside Ambon, outside the Moluccas or even outside Indonesia where they can live without fear or disturbance.
5. To pray for the well-being of the citizens of Ambon.
Thus we make public this SOS message. For your kind solidarity with the people of Ambon we are most grateful. May God’s Blessing be upon all of us.
Ambon, April 30, 2004
( signed )
Msgr. P.C. Mandagi MSC,
Bishop of Amboina