Subject: Civil Society Organizations Blast Military Territorial Command
Expansion in Kalimantan
The Jakarta Post [web site] June 30, 2010
Civil Society Organizations Blast Military Territorial Command Expansion
The Civil Society Coalition had raised concerns about the expansion of the Indonesian Military territorial command in Kalimantan, saying the policy opened up ample room for illegal military businesses and boosted the possibility of human rights violations against civilians.
The coalition, is comprised of eleven civil society organizations: Imparsial, National Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Indonesian Institute for Strategic and Defense Studies (Lesperssi), the Institute for Defense Security and Peace Studies (IDSPS), The International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID), Propatria Institute, the Indonesian Human Rights and Legal Aid Association (PBHI), the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (KASUM), Praxis, and the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Toisutta officially opened the Mulawarman Regional Military Command VI in East Kalimantan on June 28. Previously, the Army Headquarters had announced its plan to add 22 territorial commands comprised of three regency and 19 city military command posts.
Haris Azhar from the National Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence said Wednesday that the expansion of military territorial commands would facilitate the expansion of illegal military businesses.
"A Kontras research report shows that most of the illegal military businesses across the country are backed-up by military members from territorial command offices, such as city and village military posts," he said at a press conference at the Imparsial office in Jakarta.
Haris said that, in Kalimantan, military members had backed up palm oil companies to seize indigenous farmers' lands for their business expansion. He added that in most cases, military members treated the indigenous farmers violently. (rdf)