Monday, May 26, 2008

Sjafrie; Fort Benning USA; Swanbourne Australia; Military Rule



1. In Indonesia, real power lies with the military, including the regional military commands.

Each region or territory has a military command which is very powerful (the territorial function).

In Indonesia, the reform movement wants the Indonesian Military (TNI) to give up its control of politics and everyday life and focus on defense.


Sjafrie

2. On 26 May 2008, the Defense Ministry secretary-general Lt. Gen. Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin talked to The Jakarta Post about the issue. (TNI territorial function to stay despite decade of reform: Sjafrie)

General Sjafrie stated:

"TNI territorial commands are in the form of military deployment as a defense force. Therefore, if the function is scrapped, TNI will lose its strength.

"The presence of regional military commands is needed as long as they do not conduct government functions as they did in the past. When it's deemed necessary, the military can be deployed for humanitarian operations or to help regional governments."

3. In the Jakarta Post, 29 December 2000, Dr. Damien Kingsbury, of Monash Asia Institute, explained:

"The greatest impediment to reform is that the TNI remains necessary to ensure Indonesia's territorial integrity.

"If the TNI gave up its territorial function the tendency for Indonesia to disintegrate would be considerable and the options for stopping it limited.

"So, the territorial function remains, yet that is in itself perhaps the greatest obstacle facing reform. There is one, increasingly thought about, view that suggests that real reform cannot exist in Indonesia for structural reasons, and that if there is real reform Indonesia would cease to exist." - Interview w/Dr. Damien Kingsbury on TNI, Mahfud, Gus Dur

4. Sjafrie Syamsuddin

Most of his career has been in Kopassus, including participating in the invasion of East Timor (Operasi Seroja) in 1976, the first of many tours there.

He has also had combat experience in Aceh. His specialisation was intelligence.

In 1985 he took the Infantry Officer's Advanced Course, in Fort Benning, USA.

In 1990 he commanded the Kopassus’ SGI (Intelligence Task Force) in East Timor, where he is reported to have been closely involved in directing the Santa Cruz massacre.

In 1993 he took a two-week training course at Special Air Service base, Swanbourne, Perth, Australia.

He led the presidential guard for Suharto in 1993-95. He gained experience in territorial commands, especially in Jakarta where he became military commander between 1997 and 1998.
He was questioned over his role in the shooting of protesters in Jakarta in May 1998.

He became armed forces spokesman in February 2002 - the appointment was greeted by protests from human rights organisations. (MajGen Sjafrie Syamsuddin - Master of Terror)

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May 2008

"Angry students hurled molotov cocktails at police after Indonesia hiked the cost of gasoline by 33 percent." - Angry protests as Indonesia hikes fuel prices

"The United States says it has lifted a travel warning placed on Indonesia following a string of terrorist attacks. It cited improved security for the decision." - Indonesia travel warning lifted; security improved

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