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Jakarta Post

The mystery behind Ambon riots

  • TMY Soukotta

Ambon, Maluku   /   Mon, May 21 2012   /  08:00 am

A combination of sadness, concern, anger, irritation, impatience and emotions flushed through me when I read about the most recent riot that erupted in Ambon during the procession of the Obor Pattimura (the Torch of Pattimura), on May 15.

On the eve of the Pattimura Day, I went to bed with good hopes about Ambon after reading posts on social media from friends who were excitingly expecting the arrival of the Pattimura torch in Pattimura Park at the heart of Ambon city.

The next morning, however, I woke up to find that the procession went differently than most people had expected. What was supposed to be a happy event for people of different groups under the spirit of semangat Pattimura-Pattimura muda (the spirit of young Pattimuras), the procession turned into a riot reminiscent of the bloody conflict in 1999.

Following the development of the so-called “post-confl...