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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 04/12/2011, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Kuansing, vote sparks violence: church burned, damage to Electoral Commission headquarters

    Mathias Hariyadi

    The ballot for the office of mayor sparks a street revolt. Thousands of people attack a Christian place of worship. Today, thousands of police in riot gear restore calm, but tension remains. Catholic priest says attacks caused by elections, not sectarian.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A Christian church set on fire and an office of the Electoral Commission seriously damaged. This is the outcome of a revolt that took place yesterday in the district of Kuantan Singing - alias Kuansing – on the island of Sumatra, that broke out following the results of local elections. The political struggle between the main warring parties over the ballot, turned into an open clash after the announcement of the winner for the office of mayor. Even today, the tension remains high, the authorities have deployed a large group of police to prevent further violence.

    Yesterday afternoon an angry mob, made up of thousands of people stormed and set fire to a Christian church - it is not known whether Catholic or Protestant - and the headquarters of the Electoral Commission of Kuansing district, Riau province, Sumatra island, west of the Indonesian archipelago. The street clashes, the news that the favourite to take over running the city had been defeated on the ballot.

    The tension in the area remains high and only the deployment today of thousands of police in riot gear is preventing new clashes. Hundreds of people are afraid and do not intend to return to their homes. Restiawan, police chief Kuansing, excludes the possibility that the burning of the church is due to sectarian issues. "The defeat of their leader - says the official - has created discontent among the groups of supporters."

    The ballot for the mayor’s office only had two pairs of candidates: the first formed by the head of the Kuansing district Sukarmis, and his deputy Zulkifli. Their challengers are Sukarmis’ current deputy, Mursini, and an local parliamentary named Gumpita.

    Fr. Leo Mali, head of the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara province, strongly condemned "the anarchy that caused the destruction of the church in Kuansing" and accuses the state of not knowing how to apply the law to punish those guilty. A resident of the area affected by the violence, on condition of anonymity, added that "80 families living near the burned church do not have the courage to return to their homes."

    Speaking to AsiaNews Fr Anton Konseng Pr explains that it is still unknown whether the church belongs to a Catholic or Protestant community, because "the place is in a remote location, hours of travel are needed to reach it." He adds that the violence "has nothing to do with inter-religious harmony in the regency, but was triggered by dissatisfaction with the election results."
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    See also

    01/10/2014 INDONESIA
    Temporary veto for bill that abolishes direct election of governor and mayor
    Indonesia's outgoing president temporarily vetoes controversial bill approved by parliament last week. President-elect Widodo, who has already criticised the law, will now have to solve the controversy with his own means. Some political groups want to keep in check democracy.

    14/10/2011 INDONESIA
    Bogor Yasmin Church controversy: authorities “manipulating” videos to slander Christians
    The mayor calls in security forces to stop prayers. The videotapes of the incident are manipulated in order to blame Christians for the violence. Nahdlatul Ulama comes out on the Christian side. The Wahid Institute calls on the president to remove local leaders and uphold religious freedom.

    10/02/2010 PHILIPPINES
    Between corruption and violence the election campaign begins in the Philippines
    The election race began yesterday and ends on May 8. On May 10, Filipinos will vote for president, vice-president, renewal of Congress and local governments. Elections 2010 will be the first to employ a computerized voting system. Despite this church and people fear violence and fraud. So far 63 people killed in election related incidents.

    04/09/2013 INDONESIA
    East Nusa Tenggara: bishop appeals against violence between opposing political factions
    Three people are killed, dozens of homes are burnt and hundreds of people are forced to flee following clashes between supporters of the outgoing district leader and of his successor, who won the election. The Constitutional Court's decision to confirm the poll's results unleashes the wrath of part of the population. Checkpoints are set up to ensure order and guarantee security.

    30/01/2012 INDONESIA
    Yasmin Church celebrates Sunday Mass in front of presidential palace in Jakarta
    Hundreds of members of a congregation denied the right to build its own church in Bogor demonstrated in the capital yesterday, calling on the president to do something to uphold the law. They complain about repeated acts of intimidation by radical Muslims, backed by Bogor mayor Diani Budiarto.



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