It is unfortunate that the flare-up of communal conflict occurs in many parts of this country, sparked by issues of ethnicity, religion and election results.
Many of the conflicts have led to acts of violence and destruction.
The potential for communal conflict may still continue. Moreover, the Home Ministry estimates horizontal and communal conflict is likely to intensify, especially ahead of the 2014 election.
The government must be responsive and anticipatory in resolving communal conflict from both upstream and downstream.
President Yudhoyono has issued an instruction known as the National Security Presidential Directive, which was signed by him on Jan. 28. The regulation is the first step to reducing communal conflict.
The instruction was issued due to the backdrop of unrest in several areas: the Mesuji conflict in Lampung, riots in Bima, Sumbawa and other unrest in other areas that have claimed a number of lives.
The police have frequently been condemned for being less than vigilant when trying to stop violence.
To prevent further unrest in many regions, the government has to find out the root of the problem.
The conflicts in Mesuji and Bima, for example, were sparked by land conflicts.
The National Security Presidential Directive is a legal umbrella for military involvement in social conflicts.
This does not mean the TNI will come back into the realm of civic life, nor will it mean a return to the militaristic New
The TNI fully agrees and realizes that it will only perform its duties to secure the country and to prevent disintegration.
In trying to prevent any communal conflict, security forces, both the police and the military, must be sensitive and able to detect potential communal conflict.
T. Hardi Sujono
Rajabasa, Bandar Lampung