Friday, March 25, 2005

Christian gangs and the military and terror in Indonesia

The Coker Gang is a group of gangsters who are of the Christian faith.

The surrender to the Indonesian police of Berty Loupatty, the leader of the Christian Coker gang, has led to revelations about the alleged role of Kopassus, the army's special forces, in the terror in Indonesia. http://www.infid.be/kopassus_maluku.html

Berty Loupatty claims that most of the terror in Maluku has been stage-managed by the military.

Tempo Magazine gained access to police reports, revealing that Coker was involved in at least 13 incidents, 9 of which included members of Kopassus. [Tempo No. 46, 19 January 2003].

Christian Rahayaan, a lawyer for Coker, told the press:

'During questioning, members of the Coker gang said Kopassus soldiers gave them directives, weapons and bombs to carry out every attack (in 2002). It's clear that the unrest in Maluku is the work of provocateurs. They use the pretext to create the impression that without the military, Maluku won't be safe'. [AFP, 8 January 2003].

"According to police reports Coker was involved in the destruction of a public transport terminal on 27 August 2001, killing 2 persons and wounding 16. A month later the Christian militia group placed a bomb in a minibus, killing one person.

"On 12 November 2001, supported by a Kopassus member called Ridwan, Coker members planted a bomb in an electronics shop killing 3 persons.

"Just before Christmas Day 2001 they exploded a bomb on a ferry carrying hundreds of passengers, heading towards the Galala harbour in Ambon. The ferry sank, 4 people were killed and scores were wounded. The Kopassus member involved was known as Dio.

"Together with Kopassus troops, Coker launched attacks on the villages of Portho and Haria on 10 April and 8 May 2002, with the intention of provoking the villagers to fight each other.

"The most vicious combined operation of Coker and Kopassus was the attack on the village of Soya... 22 houses were destroyed by fire, as well as the historic church of Soya built during Portuguese times and 12 people were killed. The Soya bloodbath created new tensions between Muslim and Christian communities. It is now clear that the attack was not the work of Muslim warriors as was thought at the time but an attack by a Christian militia gang together with Kopassus units."

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Reportedly, Suharto's father was a minor immigration official and his mother a peasant. 'Their separation soon after his birth led to speculation that it was a marriage of convenience designed to hide Mr Suharto's real parentage'. There has been speculation that Suharto may have Chinese blood in him. Suharto's wife was born a Roman Catholic.

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