Australian Military Insults Pancasila, TNI Suspends Military Cooperation

Friday, 06 January 2017 , 11:30:00 WIB - International

Soldiers of the Indonesian Army (TNI AD) Yonif 116/GS Meulaboh are seen bringing their swimming equipment before having training on swamps, seas, rivers, and coasts at a coast in Gampong Teungoh Village, Samatiga District, West Aceh, Aceh, Thursday (22/12). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – The Indonesian Military (TNI) has ended their military cooperation with the Australia Defence Force (ADF). TNI took the decision as Australia is suspected of insulting the official philosophical foundation of Indonesia, Pancasila.

Australian Military is found insulting Pancasila when they had a joint training with TNI. Responding to the issue, the House’s Commission I Chairman Abdul Kharis Khamisari asked TNI to explain their decision in ending their military cooperation with Australia.

He asked TNI to explain their reasons clearly so they could impose a moratorium. "I think the moratorium is limited to the joint training program," Abdul Kharis Khamisari said through a message received by, Thursday (5/1).

According to Abdul Kharis, the moratorium is limited to the joint training, the decision won’t bring a huge impact on the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia. He also believes that the bilateral policies between them won’t change.

However, the House’s Commission will keep urging ADF to conduct an internal investigation into the objections delivered by TNI that leads to the moratorium ending. The investigation must also be related to technical matters that become one of TNI’s reasons in imposing the moratorium as it disturbs the military cooperation.

Further, he stated if the Australian military is found insulting the Indonesian official philosophical foundation, Pancasila, he will urge Australia via Defense Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry to give a detailed explanation to the Indonesian government. "The institution and individuals also have to apologize," he stated.

Deputy Chairman of the Representatives’ House, Fadli Zon, also said the House supports the government’s action that put forward national interests. He believes that TNI had a careful consideration in suspending the military cooperation with Australia.

He also explained that the House’s Commission I will ask TNI to give an official statement regarding the Indonesia-Australia military cooperation suspension.

He asserts that TNI’s action was important to build a mutual trust in Indonesia-Australia cooperation because good bilateral relations is not only based on the benefits that can be given by each country, but also equality and trust.

Speaking about the Australian military training materials in Perth military base that insults TNI and Pancasila, Fadli considers the government must take a firm action.

Despite this, Fadli hopes the military cooperation between Indonesia and Australia would be recovered. The cooperation between two states are strategic and has to be stable.

Meanwhile, TNI spokesperson Maj. Gen. Wuryanto states there are several matters that cause TNI stop their military cooperation with Australia. "There are some technical matters that have to be fixed so the military cooperation between two states would benefit each other," Wuryanto said in his press release.

Although he didn’t mention about the insult in detail, he didn’t decline that ADF has insulted Pancasila, the insult allegation was found when the Indonesian Army’s special forces (Kopassus) were in training with the Australian Special Air Service in Perth, West Australia in December 2016.

Meanwhile, an expert on international law of University of Indonesia, Hikmahanto Juwana, said that the decision taken by TNI commander in stopping the military cooperation with ADF is accurate. According to him, there were three issues happened in the Australian Special Air Service’s education center.

First, SASR has discredited Sarwo Edhie’s heroic role in fighting the 30 September Movement. Second, the essay written by a training participant about an issue in Papua. Last but not least, the "Pancagila" writing in the Principal’s Office that insults Pancasila. "TNI Commander has taken a right decision," Hikmahanto said through a message received by, Thursday (5/1).

Further, he states that the ADF commander has promised to conduct an investigation into the issue, so the military cooperation will be suspended when the investigation is in progress, and wold be continued until the result come up and published.

Responding to the issue, the Australian government states they’re sorry and promised they will investigate the training materials that insult Indonesia, which was found at a military base in Perth.

Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne states the investigation into the offensive material found in Campbell Barrack in Perth, West Australia, will be finished immediately. (dtc)