THESE ARE THE MOLUCCAN ISLANDS
Often jobless, the diasadvantaged Moluccans have been selling off these lands in time of need.
In the Moluccas' countryside, valuable timber from the rain
forest is indiscriminately felled by the Barito Pacific Timber, in conjunction with the armed forces (ABRI), holding a forest concession covering 1 million hectares.
The Indonesian government had also issued licenses to Asian fishing companies/trawlers operators (Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, China, South Korea) collaborating with the Indonesian Navy to plunder the Moluccan waters.
This have resulted in forced evictions of Moluccan indigenous people, environmental/ecological destruction, damaging undersea national parks in Arafura waters and a fish shortage among the Moluccan people, to whom fish is the principle protein source.
DEMOCRACY AND REFORMATION
On May 21 1998, general Suharto was pressured by the pro-democratic and reformation movements in Indonesia to resign. With the arrival of the next democratically elected fourth president Wahid of Indonesia in 1999, the era of the Orde Baru (Suharto's Order) came to an end. The power of the Indonesian army however, specifically its political and economical role and its territiorial structure outside the island of Java, still exists unimpaired.
Led by the students on the Moluccas the call for democracy, reformation, openness and the right of self-determination got stronger. The Indonesian army (TNI) dispersed a massive demonstration of students in the town of Ambon on November 18, 1998. Some people died. By provocation methods this vertical conflict was transformed into a horizontal conflict in January 1999. Ambon, the surrounding islands, the Southeast Moluccas and the North Moluccas became the scene of a bloody conflict, which was by instigated by officers and politicians loyal to Suharto. Read more »
At the same time the military elite, amongst whom army leader general Wiranto, declared the Moluccas a Military Command Area (KODAM).This was done to justify the placement of more troops, amongst which special command units, such as Kostrad and Kopassus. The scorched earth policy, which had been applied by the above mentioned command units in East Timor was also applied in Ambon/Maluku. Read more »
The arrival of thousands of well armed militants muslims (Lascar Jihad) in May 2000, from outside the Moluccas, encouraged by politicians, such as Amien Rais and Hamzah Haz, the former vice-president, should be considered as State Sponsored Terrorism against the defenceless Moluccan people. [Indonesian Crime in the Moluccas - International Herald Tribune] [THE ILLEGAL LASKAR JIHAD AND ITS DECEITFUL PROTECTOR]
In his article ‘Political economy of Moluccan violence’, Dr. George J. Aditjondro, East Indonesia specialist and teacher at the University of New Castle in Australia, wrote - "Finally, behind all this, the one who stands to gain the most from the political instability in the Moluccas is Suharto, his family and cronies since the political troubles hinder serious efforts to bring them to court to account for their political and economic crimes. They benefit from the disturbances of the peace that serve to perpetuate the Armed Forces' dual function, especially as the Armed Forces, through scores of foundations and pensioned officers are deeply enmeshed in the tentacles of the Suharto family business".
The so-called "Maluku conflict", in which the people of the Maluku islands have been embroiled in a "civil war" between Muslims and Christians, has lasted from 19-1-199 until 11-2-2002. This conflict has probably cost over 20.000 lives and around 500.000 people have fled. In this period the right of self-determination - the RMS ideal - got an extra impulse by the establishment of the "Front for Sovereignty of the Moluccas" (FKM) on December 18, 2000 in Ambon.
In 2004, the hoisting of the flags in honour of the 54th birthday of the Proclamation of the free Republic of the South Moluccas has led to a second row of riots in Ambon. The Indonesian army (TNI) killed 40 demonstrators and imprisoned tens of FKM/RMS political activists.
More recently, pro independence activists have attracted international attention when they danced and unfurled the RMS flag in front of president Susilo Bambang Yudhojono in Ambon on the 29th of June 2007.
Although the Moluccan Islands are blessed with a abundance of natural resources, the mayority of the Moluccan people still live under the poverty level. The poverty level in Maluku Province has increase substantially since 2004. The current poverty level is at approx. 60%, an increase of ~30% since 2004. The "civil war" that took place in Maluku between 1999 to 2003 has a devastating impact on the Moluccan people and has thrown back the economic development of the Moluccan Islands for many decades . #
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono supports Laskar Jihad
He said, Laskar Jihad that took part in sectarian conflict in Maluku and Poso are Islamic heroes !!!... Unbelievable….