Indonesian bombing a response to ‘Rohingya screams’


Tue, Aug 06, 2013 - Page 6

A bomb that exploded at a Buddhist temple in the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, bore the words: “We are responding to the screams of the Rohingya,” the place of worship said yesterday.

It appeared to be the latest outburst of anger in Muslim-majority Indonesia at the plight of Rohingya Muslims, who have been fleeing in their thousands from sectarian violence in Myanmar, where most of the population is Buddhist.

The low-intensity bomb, containing pieces of iron and ball bearings, went off late on Sunday inside the Ekayana Buddhist temple as hundreds of worshipers prayed, lightly injuring one person, who received cuts to an arm and leg.

A second bomb was also set, but only emitted smoke and failed to go off, according to police. The attack caused minimal damage.

Temple official Ponijan Liaw told reporters that CCTV footage showed a man wearing a white shirt entering the temple and placing two green packages with the bombs inside next to two doors before leaving. The blast happened shortly afterward, he said.

One package bore the message about the Rohingya, Liaw said, adding the footage had been handed over to police.

Indonesian National Police spokesman Ronny Sompie said authorities were still investigating the motive behind the attack and could not comment on who might be responsible.

Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali said the bombing “was a provocation aimed at pitting Muslims against Buddhists.”

Indonesian Minister of Security Djoko Suyanto condemned the perpetrators for ruining “the peace of Ramadan,” the Muslim holy month which comes to an end later this week with the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

“The security forces have been ordered to immediately hunt down and arrest the perpetrators,” he added.

Police in May foiled a plot to bomb Myanmar’s embassy in Jakarta by Islamic hardliners as anger grew over the plight of the Rohingya.