Indonesian Experience with Local Conflict Resolution
This chapter examines two of Indonesia's most noted traditional conflict resolution methods in the context of recent ethnoreligious conflicts. It shows that Pela Gandong of Ambon and Motambu Tana of Poso are ties of brotherhood across religious and ethnic differences that have emerged over centuries in specific locales. These practices have proved successful over time for managing violent conflict, including when they were used as a ‘last resort’ in recent communal conflict. But there are problems in the prevailing tendency to view as static and even primordial the inherently dynamic practices of Pela Gandong and Motambu Tana. These practices derive their efficacy from long-standing concrete local interactions. To frame them as unchanging ignores the grounds of their efficacy and compromises efforts to revive Pela Gandong and Motambu Tana at a time when they are under pressure from state-led forces of modernisation and the introduction of modern Western conflict resolution practices.
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