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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Conflict and distrust

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Thu, April 19 2012   /  09:20 am

A few years after communal conflicts subsided in Maluku, Central Sulawesi and Central and West Kalimantan, activists pushed for a law to prevent and overcome social conflict. One goal was to regulate all security forces in the event of widespread violent conflict — and ensure they remained engaged in keeping the peace, rather than undermining security — as many incidents suggested.

But in the weeks ahead of the law’s passing last Wednesday (April 11), activists claimed its deliberation increasingly ceased to involve the public. The final draft led to protests, mainly over what was considered to be a large space for the authorities to determine the definition of a social conflict, the timing of when the troops would be brought in, and the parties to be targeted for arrest.

It is this blank check that makes people nervous, mainly regarding the prospect of having soldi...