Reverend Irianto Kongkoli, murdered in Palu, Sulawesi, on Monday, was buried today.
Reverend Kongkoli, the head of the Protestant Gereja Kristen Sulawesi Tengah (GKST) synod, was shot in the back of the head in Palu on the 16th as he, his wife, and and their four-year old daughter Gea, were shopping for ceramic tiles at Sinar Sakti construction materials shop on Jalan Mongonsidi. He was buried today, the 18th, at the Talise cemetery in Palu. About 5000 people attended his eulogy service. (Antara and Kompas)
Reverend Irianto Kongkoli.
Irianto Kongkoli was born in Poso, Central Sulawesi, on 14th March 1963, but grew up in nearby Tentena. He completed his theological training at the Duta Wacana Christian University in Yogyakarta. While in central Java he also studied Islam at the Yogyakarta State Religious Institute and became a fluent speaker of Javanese at the same time, as well as learning a good amount of Arabic.
Upon returning to Central Sulawesi he took up a number of senior church positions, including acting as the General Secretary of the Central Sulawesi Christian Church and as Director of the Marturia theological college in Palu. At the time of the sectarian fighting in the area in the late 1990's and early 2000's Irianto become a key player in peace-making attempts, and he was one of the signatories to the December 2001 Malino peace agreement brokered by Jusuf Kalla. Later he helped form the Forum Peduli Kemanusiaan Poso, the Poso Humanity Forum, with various key Islamic figures, as a further effort at creating stability in the region. (Liputan6)
Typically for an event such as this senior police and community figures have claimed that his killing was an attempt by "old players" in the province to again stir up sectarian trouble. No arrests have yet been made and going on past events no arrests are likely. In 2003, a church activist, R. Tadjoja, and a public prosecutor, Ferry Silalahi, were shot dead by gunmen, and on July 18th, 2004, Reverend Susianti Lusiana Tinulele was killed while preaching at Effatha Church in Palu. These cases have never been solved.
January 29th 2007
Police believe that two men, Abdul Muis and Dedi Parsan, planned and carried out the shooting, the former being the one who pulled the trigger. Abdul Muis was arrested on 11th January in a raid while Dedi Parsan was killed by police on the same day. l6