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People who intervene will have to be arrested

Jawa Pos - March 19, 1997 (Abridged)

Army chief of staff General Hartono said the armed forces will take action against foreign observers of the elections who violate provisions in force in Indonesia. 'They can observe the election, as long as they stick to the rules,' he said.

'If observers try to intervene then they will be arrested. We have our own rules and have no need to hide anything. But if foreign observers try to insert concepts from other countries that differ from ours, we will definitely take action,' he said.

He said that ABRI, which is a part of the country's election investigation mechanism will take firm action against people from outside, whoever they happen to be. If they just want to observe things, there isn't any problem.'

As for who will be allowed to come and observe, it will be for the immigration authorities to decide, he said.

'So will they be clobbered?', he was asked. He replied: 'Many people don't understand what 'clobbered' (digebuk) means. In my interpretation, it means law enforcement.'

He refused to elaborate on the space allowed for foreigners to observe the election. He said that people coming to Indonesia as tourists must behave like tourists. They should not do anything that is beyond their role as tourists,' he said.