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Warning Shots on Ethnic Unrest

Indonesian Crime Prevention Foundation Warns Darker Forces May be Behind Recent Ethnic Attacks of Balinese in Sumbawa and South Sumatra

(1/27/2013) Indonesian Crime Prevention Foundation (ICPF) is concerned that the growing tide of ethnic unrest in the country will potentially shift to Bali, seen as a national stronghold and icon of multiculturalism.

The chairman of ICPF’s Bali chapter, Nyoman Gde Suweta, said on Thursday, January 24, 2013: “We see a scenario and hidden motives behind ethnic unrest in Sumbawa and Baliburaga (South Sumatra). These incidents of civil unrest are not simply spontaneous reactions among the public.”

The ICPF is a private group concerned with crime prevention in which many former senior law enforcement officials are members.

As reported by the State News Agency Antara, Suweta sees concerning patterns of similarity in the unrest that has affected Balinese communities living in Sumbawa and Lampung, South Sumatra,

“As I se it, there a form of new awareness emerging that Bali is the cornerstone of the national motto of ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ (Unity in Diversity) – not Papua, Ambon or other locations,” Suweta explained.

According to Suweta, if Bali is provoked into civil unrest, the repercussions could be extraordinary across a number of ethnicities. If such a situation developed, Suweta believes the provocateurs' eventual intention would be to threaten national solidarity and sovereignty.

Because of this, the ICPF is urging the President, State Intelligence Body (BIN), the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, the Commander of the Armed Forces and the Chief of the National Police not to make the mistake of over-simplifying their analysis of recent civil unrest in Sumbawa.

Suweta added: “(The incident) must be investigated and the results used to resolves problems for the future benefit of the Nation.”

Suweta called on his fellow Balinese to exercise sound judgment in responding to developments in Sumbawa and South Sumatra. He also asked that the public not be lured into scenarios devised by certain parties to undermine national sovereignty.”