Friday, March 8, 2013

1) Reader riposte: TNI's new generation

1) Reader riposte: TNI's new generation

2) Soldier faces 15-years for brutal killing of pregnant girlfriend


1) Reader riposte: TNI's new generation

By Reader Riposte - 8 March 2013 9:50AM
Edmund McWilliams, a retired US Foreign Service Officer, writes:
Gary Hogan's March 6 article, A promising New Generation of TNI leaders, presents a weak case for its essential contention that new leaders of the Indonesian military (TNI) are 'more sophisticated, worldly and conscious of the wider implications of military actions for Indonesia's image and reputation.'
The central point that Hogan misses is that, notwithstanding the new blood purportedly surging into the upper ranks of the TNI, that organisation remains unaccountable before Indonesian courts for the sometimes barbarous performance of its officers and enlisted men. When rare public scrutiny compels a degree of accountability, those convicted of human rights abuse invariably are given light punishments.
Moreover, the TNI as an institution continues to operate outside of civilian control.

Despite parliamentary calls for fundamental reforms extending back over a decade, the TNI continues to rely heavily on sources of revenue not under the control of the civilian budgetary process. TNI leaders depend on a significant flow of funds from legal and illegal businesses, extortion of domestic and foreign corporations and other revenues not controlled by any civilian budgetary process.
Mr Hogan's contention that some of the rising stars of the 'new' TNI constellation are more 'worldly' by virtue of their training in the US and other foreign countries is also essentially bogus. Some of the TNI's most infamous leaders, including Lt General Prabowo, benefited from extensive foreign training. This foreign contact failed to render the officers involved any more sensitive to human rights concerns or to the essential democratic order of a military subordinate to civilian control.
Absent serious reform of the TNI, Indonesian democracy will remain hostage to a rogue military and the whims of the elite officer ranks which control it.

2) Soldier faces 15-years for brutal killing of pregnant girlfriend

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Paper Edition | Page: 5
The Jayapura Military Prosecutor’s Office is seeking a 15-year sentence and discharge from his unit for a soldier of the Indonesian Military (TNI) at Boven Digul military command.

First Sgt. Irfan is accused of killing Frederika Metarmey on Nov. 21, 2012 in Tanah Merah, Boven Digul, by shooting her and then bludgeoning her to death with the gun.

In the indictment, military prosecutor Major Yuli Wibowo said that on Nov. 20, 2012, the defendant was waiting at the victim’s house from 11 p.m. local time. When the victim returned home, he asked her why she was late.

When Frederika did not reply, Irfan became furious, shot her in the head and again in the shoulder and then he beat her repeatedly on the head with the FN 45 revolver he had used to shoot her.

The family of the deceased has not attended the trial claiming that a military trial does not adequately defend the interests of the deceased.

The victim’s aunt Rum Metarmey has said that Frederika was six months pregnant when she was killed.

Her family knew her to have been close to three men, all TNI members, including defendant Irfan.

“Her family demanded a DNA test be conducted to determine which of the three men was the father,” Rum said.

The victim’s family also want to know why her pregnancy was never brought up in the trial.

They believe that Frederika was murdered when she begged the father of her child to accept responsibility for his child.

“We have sent a letter to Cenderawasih Provincial Military Command asking them to thoroughly investigate the case. Whoever killed Frederika not only murdered the mother but also her child,” Rum added.

The trial has been adjourned until March 8 to allow time for a plea bargain.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident in Gorontalo, a crowd of around 300 people, calling themselves Community Alliance to Uphold the Constitution (AMPK) gathered at the city police headquarters.

They demanded authorities reopen the investigation into the stabbing of Nikson Ahmad, Gorontalo municipal council speaker.

“The case must be reopened and police must examine Marthen Thaha, former Gorontalo municipal council speaker who is currently being nominated in the Gorontalo mayoral election,” said AMPK spokesman Rizal Datau.

Nikson, who was dismissed from the Golkar Party was known to be close to incumbent Mayor Adhan

He was stabbed when he attended an interactive forum on Sept. 25, 2012, at a local TV station, Mimosa TV.

A number of unidentified people broke into the studio during the program and stabbed Nikson, who suffered a severe wound to his right thigh.

According to Rizal, Marthen is behind the bloody incident, a conclusion based on the Blackberry messenger status of one of the suspects, Ali Feby Sidiki, currently in police custody.

In the Blackberry Messenger status sent on March 6, Ali Feby said Marthen Thaha had instructed him to stab Nikson.

A copy of the message has been handed over to police.

Gorontalo City Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Andry Trias Poetra said police had examined the contents of a cell phone under Ali Feby’s name.

“We have gone to Gorontalo city prison to find out the truth, but we have yet to obtain a permit to conduct examination. Ali Feby is being detained there,” he said.

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