Subject: [indoleft] Lifting arms embargo must take reform of the TNI into consideration

=========== I N D O L E F T - News service > > ===========

Lifting arms embargo must take reform of the TNI into consideration

Kompas - October 17, 2005

Jakarta ­ It is hoped that moves to lift the arms embargo on Indonesia by the United States will be done gradually. In addition to this, the degree of reform within the Indonesian military (TNI) must also be balanced against this.

This statement was conveyed at a joint press conference by a number of non-government organisations on Friday October 14 which was held at the offices of the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (Infid).

According to Infid's executive director, Ivan Hadar, there are a number of parameters of reform which can be a measure of this including building a Indonesian National Defence Force (TNI) which is professional, not involved in business or politics and one which submits to civilian authority and respects the principles of human rights.

In addition to this, there are a number of other issues which must be given consideration such as building a defense posture that is in accordance with strategic goals in the field as well as being linked with the principles of accountability and transparency said Hadar.

A similar view was also expressed by the executive director of the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Rafendi Djamin, who at the same time attempted to link this reform with efforts to deal with the problems of terrorism. Djamin said that efforts to improve cooperation and the handling of terrorism must also be based on reform within the TNI.

In the joint statements, they said that real issues of importance such as the war against terrorism must not become a means to legitimise giving access to the TNI to work outside the corridors of democracy and its duty to maintain defense. (DWA)

[Translated by James Balowski.]


The INDOLEFT news service is produced by the Indonesian Centre for Reform and Social Emancipation (INCREASE) and Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific.

INDOLEFT News Service Jl. Tebet Timur Dalam VIII No. 6A Jakarta Selatan 12820 Indonesia

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