Saturday, September 23, 2006

Indonesian military will never launch a coup

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Political analyst Sukardi Rinakit said here on Friday that the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) would not launch a coup d`etat as its counterpart in Thailand had done. "I believe the TNI will never stage a coup as what happened in Thailand. We have no history with TNI launching a coup," he said after attending a seminar on the voting right of TNI members here on Friday. Sukardi Rinakit, who is also executive director of Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate (SSS), cited an example the fact that the TNI did not launch a coup during the political chaos that plagued the country in 1955. He said the Indonesian military would not harm its own interest as by launching a military coup as it would only tarnish its own image. In case the TNI is disappointed with the government, it would not take any action that would lead to a coup but try to influence civilian politicians or other elements, such as students, to mount an opposition to the government. TNI Chief Marshal Djoko Suyanto made it clear on Wednesday that there is no such thing as `coup d`etat` in TNI`s vocabulary, considering that the TNI put democracy in its highest esteem. "All the nation`s components, including the TNI, have agreed to carry out good and democratic governance in Indonesia," he said. He said that TNI respected the authority of the civil government which was elected democratically by the majority of the people.

Are we forgetting the failed coup attempt fiasco on September 30, 1965 when six generals were killed (probably by the army itself) and then the army led by Major-General Soeharto emerged as the leader of the country effectively forcing President Sukarno to transfer authority to Soeharto. Then Major-General Soeharto began his reign of terror persecuting, imprisoning and slaughtering Indonesians who didn't fall in line with his ideology. The slaughter of minority Chinese, Christians and Balinese Hindus at the hands of Soeharto occured. What, does this political analyst and TNI Chief Marshall think the Indonesian people have forgotten? We have not forgotten. Especially after Soeharto's trans-migration plan brought a large influx of Muslims into Christian areas leading to eventual religious conflicts in Sulawesi and Maluku supported by the Indonesian government and TNI. We have not forgotten.

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