[ETAN-key] Lead Candidate for Indonesia Army Chief Tied to Violence in Timor: Rights Group
fbp at igc.org
Mon Jun 13 17:07:41 EDT 2011
Lead Candidate for Army Chief May Be Tied to Violence in Timor: Rights Group
Nurfika Osman | June 13, 2011
A prominent human rights group has raised
questions about the checkered record of the
leading candidate for the post of Army chief of staff.
Al Araf, program director at the nongovernmental
group Imparsial, said on Sunday that Lt. Gen.
Pramono Edhie Wibowo, one of three men being
considered to replace Army chief Gen. George
Toisutta, may have been involved in rights abuses
following the East Timor independence referendum in 1999.
The next chief of staff should be someone who is
committed to reforming the armed forces, Al Araf
said. We all know the Army was involved in past human rights violations.
Pramono, he went on, was suspected of being
involved in an attack on the Dili home of Bishop
Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, a Nobel peace
laureate who had long campaigned for an end to
the militarys aggression in East Timor.
Therefore, we urge Komnas HAM [the National
Commission on Human Rights], the KPK [Corruption
Eradication Commission], the Indonesian Ombudsman
and the House of Representatives to scrutinize
the track record of candidate Pramono Edhie Wibowo, Al Araf said.
The results of such a probe should then be
submitted to the president and to the Indonesian
Militarys council for officers rotation, he added.
Ridha Saleh, deputy chairman of Komnas HAM, said
the rights body would examine the track record of
each of the three candidates for Army chief.
Weve signed a memorandum of understanding with
the Army, which will be the basis for us to
inspect the candidates closely before a final decision, he said.
First, were going to have a meeting about when
we can examine their track records. After that,
well have to analyze everything objectively
from their personal behavior and career, to their
possible involvement in human rights violations.
Pramonos candidacy has also come under scrutiny
because he is the younger brother of the first
lady, Ani Yudhoyono which critics contend could
see him become appointed Army chief through nepotism.
Poengky Indarti, executive director Imparsial,
said it was important that Pramono be judged on
merit rather than on family ties. She said the
culture of nepotism had long been entrenched in
Indonesias military system, but this needed to change.
Under former President Suhartos New Order
regime, Poengky said, the military career of
Prabowo Subianto, who would go on to establish
the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) in
2009, was significantly improved after he was
married to Titiek, one of Suhartos daughters.
This culture needs to be erased, starting from
the bottom up, she said. The candidate, she
added, should be willing to commit to the values
of democracy and good governance.
Separately, military spokesman Rear Admiral
Iskandar Sitompul said there would be no
favoritism in Pramonos case, saying all three
candidates stood the same chance of becoming the next Army chief.
In addition to Pramono, head of the Armys
Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad), the other
candidates are Lt. Gen. Budiman, Army deputy
chief of staff; and Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman,
commander of the Army Education and Training Center (Kodiklat).
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