Herb Feith Translation Series
In the midst of the 1999 Indonesian conflict that caused great suffering, when many people were trapped and ‘forced’ to be directly or indirectly involved in the raging violence, some Moluccans in their own different ways stood their distance and maintained a critical attitude to the conflict. At the same time, they started to fight for peace. This book is filled with their stories. The included documentation aims to record their experiences and personal testimonies. These testimonies contain valuable lessons, not just for the people of Maluku, but for the whole of humankind. It is time that good stories from Maluku, containing voices for peace (not violent conflict), are heard. If we really want to see peace, why don’t we start to read, write, or talk about it? This book is important reading for the people of Maluku and other Indonesians who have experienced violent conflict, but also for others who want to avoid the same sort of violent conflict. Policy makers, religious leaders and civilians will draw many lessons from these stories.
Between early 1999 and early 2002, in the Maluku Islands archipelago in Indonesia, Christian and Muslim communities engaged in a bloody conflict.
Various causes of this prolonged ethno-religious violence have been put forward. In this book, for the first time, participants in and victims of what happened speak variously of what they did and saw, of the effects of the violence on them, as individuals and members of families and communities, at the time and after, and of how they have sought to build bridges of peace.
‘Basudara’, a word evoking kith and kin showing care for each other, touches the central concern of the writers – the bearers of eyewitness testimony in this book – who pray for the growth of this caring spirit.
How, they reflect, can this idea be put into practice? How can such conflict be avoided in the future? What can the world learn from their experiences of violent upheaval?
Basudara Stories of Peace from Maluku is affecting, instructive and inspiring, and sheds a unique light on the world of Indonesia’s Maluku Islands.
‘All of the personal stories in this book have been conveyed with amazing honesty. It was not easy, to display deep personal feelings in public. More amazingly, all the contributors come from the communities which used to face each other with angry scowls. This is sufficient to make this book an historical monument.’
– Gerry van Klinken
‘If this book was published to remember it [the conflict in 1999], then there is a spirit of emancipation: what can be done so that it is never repeated? What means are provided for the diverse society, so that people can work together and take steps towards the future, full of confidence?’
– Rizal Panggabean
* Pdf of this book is not yet available for free. In the meantime, you can download for free the original Bahasa Indonesia version.