Shocked by Indonesian blood-letting

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 May, 1998, 12:00am

Will we ever learn? Violence rarely achieves its objectives; if it does it is only at the expense of increased human suffering and unnecessary divisions between opposing factions.


When Mahatma Gandhi showed us in the middle of this century that peaceful demonstrations can override an armed opponent, it looked as if humans were beginning to develop into a civilised race, respecting each other as feeling individuals and turning the other cheek to violence.


It seems, alas, based on the scenes being broadcast from Indonesia, that we have learned nothing. The retaliatory strikes of the government forces against a rampaging public seem more of a defensive nature in view of the opposition's neanderthal activities. Were the actions of the masses to be peaceful, then those of us looking on would see any violence against them in great horror.


I had previously cast pity on the citizens of that country for the economic hardships they were enduring. With their animalistic selfish actions of late, however, I am now only left wondering exactly how much longer the human race will continue to stoop to these low depths.


PIERRE HERBST Lantau