Indonesian & Palestinian Refugees

Jan 23rd, 2009, in Opinion, by

Ross rails that faraway refugees in the Middle East excite more sympathy than refugees in Lombok.

Double Standards on Refugees

And it goes on and on, everywhere we see appeals for Palestinians fleeing 'Zionist Aggression' (as our local tv stations impartially describe it), but the Jakarta Post Tuesday 17th January had a lengthy report on the plight of more nearby refugees, the victims of religious persecution in Lombok (see Ahmadiyah in Lombok), who are to be deprived of the minimal food assistance provided by the West Nusa Tenggara Provincial authorities.

These poor people, members of the Ahmadiyah sect, were hounded out of their homes by Muslim militants three years ago. The vicious attacks were recorded on tv but we have yet to read any news of arrests or prosecutions by the heroic Indonesian police, despite the faces of many of those sectarian hoodlums being easily identifiable from the tv recordings, which still get occasional re-runs on documentaries.

Lots of Western tourists and expats go to Lombok, which is apparently a scenic and pleasant destination. They may be unaware of the bigoted and biased administration which rules the area, but page 2 of the JP issue leaves them no further excuse.

An ignoramus named Bachruddin, head of the provincial social service agency, has declared that because

…they’ve been taking refuge here for more than 2 years now. They can’t be categorized as refugees.

Tell that to the Palestinians, who’ve been refugees since the 1940s. But nevertheless, the 9-12 tons of rice previously supplied to the 271 people from 57 families in Mataram and Central Lombok will no longer be delivered. Bachruddin says his agency would like to relocate them

but some residents still reject the followers. They want them to uphold real Islam, while the refugees defend their faith.

In fact, their homes are in Ketapang hamlet, Gegerung village, Lingsar district, West Lombok, whence they were brutally expelled by Muslim thugs in February 2006. That is where they should be returned. The swine who forced them out should be evicted as anti-social vermin and their homes could be confiscated and sold to provide compensation to the Ahmadiyah.

And until justice is done in that or some similar manner, anybody with a conscience should refuse to vacation in Lombok. Go to Bali, where the locals are civilized and friendly, for the most part. Balinese understand the evil of Islamist activity and deserve our patronage.

BTW do any of you have an address to which I might send a donation for rice for the Lombok refugees?


12 Comments on “Indonesian & Palestinian Refugees”

  1. avatar Bintang Kejora says:

    There are many such catastrophes happening on a regular basis in Indonesia, about which Indonesians can take effective action instead of letting off wasted steam against a distant “threat” which harms nobody here. While the Israeli bombardment was at its peak, a ferry sank between Sulawesi and Kalimantan with the loss of reportedly over 250 lives – nobody knows the true number as there were many names not reported on the manifest because (presumably) of overloading. The captain set to sea despite warnings of dangerous weather. We haven’t heard (in fact recently we’ve heard nothing much) what state his documentation was in, but the odds are it was either out of date or obtained irregularly.

    So the average Indonesian should demand to stop riding on ferries (or buses for that matter) which are overloaded, too old, irregularly certified or commanded by men with no thought for their charges. When will this happen? Probably not in our lifetimes, it’s too much part of the culture. So is this why we see these same people getting steamed up about a distant threat? They may be able to do nothing about either, but it least supporting “Palestina” makes them feel better.

  2. avatar Janma says:

    I love the way Patung always uses the word \’rails\’ in his little prefaces to Ross\’ Postings….
    😉

  3. avatar Ross says:

    Me too, Janma! I have a thing about alliteration!

  4. avatar sputjam says:

    There are many charities out there. But the fact is that the actual helpless refugee will probably get only 20% of all the contributions donated by charities if they are lucky. The rest goes to administration/logistics/PR’s etc.

  5. avatar ET says:

    And until justice is done in that or some similar manner, anybody with a conscience should refuse to vacation in Lombok.

    By extension one should refuse to vacation or do business in any place where islamist thugs have taken over the rule of law.

  6. avatar nindee says:

    Dear Ross
    Interesting post!
    I’d like to mention this on my blog, if you don’t mind.
    Thanks.

  7. avatar stupid guy says:

    I love Bali, a lot more than Lombok, 100% sure.
    Lombok is for old people hehehe

  8. avatar Lairedion says:

    And until justice is done in that or some similar manner, anybody with a conscience should refuse to vacation in Lombok.

    By extension one should refuse to vacation or do business in any place where islamist thugs have taken over the rule of law.

    By extension anybody with conscience should refuse to vacation, take residence or do business in Indonesia, a thoroughly corrupt country with a persistent record of human rights abuses, its own downplayed genocide in 65-66, its own illegal invasion of another nation (East Timor, 1975) and where islamist thugs like the FPI have taken over the rule of law….

  9. avatar Bintang Kejora says:

    Sputjam

    There are many charities out there. But the fact is that the actual helpless refugee will probably get only 20% of all the contributions donated by charities if they are lucky. The rest goes to administration/logistics/PR’s etc.

    This is true (in varying degrees) of any charity, indeed any organisation. Few, if any, enterprises can function without overhead. To deliver 20% of funds raised in services at the point of delivery is reasonable, though one would generally hope to do better – depends on lines of communication, logistics, etc. Overhead by itself is not a reason to withhold your donation, although excessive overhead would be. But how are you going to find that out?

    You can always count on a few things though: it’s fairly certain there’s a lot of “overhead” in your local Palestina collection box, or in any charitable activity managed by the government, Indonesia’s or anyone else’s. The only truly selfless way is to give up your day job, volunteer and go there yourself to right the world’s wrongs

  10. avatar Chris says:

    Ross,

    I read in “Tempo” in 2006 that Ahmadiyah had applied to Australia for refugee status. Any idea what happened to that? (This was before the 43 Papuans).

    I had a holiday in Lombok in August 2006, and was pleasantly surprised to discover it was more like Bali than the next Aceh/West Sumatra. In addition, many of the native Sasak people are poor tobacco and rice farmers, and not devout Muslims (if the number of dogs was anything to go by). Perhaps they don’t even know about Ahmadiyah.

  11. avatar Hary says:

    “To deliver 20% of funds raised in services at the point of delivery is reasonable, though one would generally hope to do better”
    Respectfully, I can’t agree. The accepted rule for a well run charity is 10% agency cost. 90% of the funds should ideally be delivered to the cause.
    An agency costs of even 50% would frighten any potential donor in the West. In Indonesia, better to buy rice and ensure its delivery yourself. Our middlemen are simply too greedy.

  12. avatar Ross says:

    Nindee, please go ahead and raise these issues.

    Dude, you make a fair point, but a boyott might wake ’em up down there.

    Lairedion, yes, Indonesia is awry often, but given a specific issue in a specific location, we might have an impact.

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