Jeremy J. Kingsley Introduction In August 2007, I attended a meeting convened by NTB1 government officials for police officers, intelligence officials, and non-government activists to address concerns about the upcoming 2008 gubernatorial elections. Halfway through the proceedings, a tense discussion arose, and people became concerned about my presence at the meeting, as "sensitive" matters relating to potential conflict were being discussed. Without being given any opportunity to allay their concerns, or protest my removal, I quickly was escorted from the meeting. I sat outside in the foyer of a Senggigi hotel, where the hotel acoustics fortunately kept me in earshot of the proceedings. I was frustrated by my ejection from the meeting, but the magnitude and difficulties involved in the preparations for the 2008 elections had been brought home to me. Underpinning my removal and the anxiety felt by all participants in the discussion was the fear that during the elections the provincial capital of Mataram, home to the various political party campaign headquarters, could explode into political violence. Fortunately, violence did not erupt during the 2008 elections, and this raises the question of how conflict was avoided, the answer to which is the foundation of this Lombok,
Indonesia – Southeast Asia Program [Cornell University]
Published: May 8, 2012
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