‘All of the personal stories in this book have been conveyed with amazing honesty. It was not easy, to display deep personal feelings in public. More amazingly, all the contributors come from the communities which used to face each other with angry scowls. This is sufficient to make this book an historical monument.’ Gerry van Klinken
‘If this book was published to remember it [the conflict in 1999], then there is a spirit of emancipation: what can be done so that it is never repeated? What means are provided for the diverse society, so that people can work together and take steps towards the future, full of confidence?’ Rizal Panggabean
Between early 1999 and early 2002, in the Maluku Islands archipelago in Indonesia, Christian and Muslim communities engaged in a bloody conflict.
Various causes of this prolonged ethno-religious violence have been put forward. In this book, for the first time, participants in and victims of what happened speak variously of what they did and saw, of the effects of the violence on them, as individuals and members of families and communities, at the time and after, and of how they have sought to build bridges of peace.
‘Basudara’, a word evoking kith and kin showing care for each other, touches the central concern of the writers – the bearers of eyewitness testimony in this book – who pray for the growth of this caring spirit.
How, they reflect, can this idea be put into practice? How can such conflict be avoided in the future? What can the world learn from their experiences of violent upheaval?
Basudara Stories of Peace from Maluku is affecting, instructive and inspiring, and sheds a unique light on the world of Indonesia’s Maluku Islands.
Jacky Manuputty is a minister in the Protestant Church in Maluku, and Director of the Research and Development Agency (Balitbang) of the Protestant Church in Maluku (GPM). He is the Founder and Director of the Inter-Faith Organisation in Maluku (LAIM). He has been awarded the Ma’arif Award 2005 in the category of peace worker; and the Tanenbaum
Award, New York, USA in 2012 for the category of Peacemakers in Action.
Zairin Salampessy, usually known as ‘Embong’, is a graduate of the Fisheries Faculty, Unpatti. He was known as a pavement artist in Ambon from 1987 to 1992. In 1994, Suara Maluku newspaper asked him to draw caricatures and so he became a journalist, an assistant editor and then senior editor until 1998. He then joined the Baileo Maluku Network NGO in Ambon. When the conflict struck Ambon in 1999, he, together with a number of colleagues, immediately formed a team of Muslim and Christian volunteers, who worked to handle the victims of the conflict. He continued doing this until he moved to Jakarta, where he was involved in advocacy at a national and international level through the Advocacy Team for Case Solving in Ambon (TAPAK). While at TAPAK Ambon, he was on several occasions, part of the Indonesian NGO delegation to the Assembly of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. He has now returned to Ambon and has become a freelance photographer for the Antara Photographic Bureau and a volunteer in the Inter-Faith organisation in Maluku.
Ihsan Ali-Fauzi is the Director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Democracy (PUSAD), Paramadina Foundation and a lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School, Jakarta. He studied history and political science at Ohio University, Athens, and the Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, both in the US. He writes for a number of national mass media, including Kompas, Koran Tempo, Majalah Tempo, The Jakarta Post and journals such as Studia Islamika and Asian Survey. As part of the PUSAD Paramadina team, he published Disputed Churches in Jakarta (2011) and Pemolisian Konflik Agama di Indonesia [The Policing of Religious Conflict in Indonesia] (2014).
Irsyad Rafsadi is a researcher at the Centre for Study in Religion and Democracy (PUSAD), Paramadina Foundation, Jakarta. He is responsible for the Ahmad Wahib Award Program in the same foundation (2013–2014). Irsyad is a graduate of the Syariah Faculty, of the State Islamic University (UIN) Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta. In addition to writing for Koran Tempo, Majalah Tempo and Jakarta Globe, he has, as part of the PUSAD.
Hilary Syaranamual is one of the founders of Amansplus Ministry, which is involved in humanitarian activities. APM started in Malang, East Java, in October 1999, and has continued in Maluku from July 2005 until the present. Having lived in Indonesia since 1983, she moved to Ambon in 1993.