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TNI’s handling of internal security to be reexamined
Kompas - December 27, 2003
Kompas – A reexamination, evaluation and refinement of People’s Representative Assembly (MPR) Decree Number VI/MPR/1999 and MPR Decree Number VII/MPR/1999 is being carried out by the department of defense and members of the People’s Representative Assembly (DPR). The division of duties which has created a dichotomy where the police force is responsible for internal security and the armed forces (TNI) confront external enemies is viewed as being inappropriate and erroneous. Coming out of this reexamination, in the future the TNI will be given the duty of handling internal problems in coordination with the police.
This issue was taken up by Major General Sudrajat, the Director General of the Strategic Defense from the Department of Defense, after transferring the post of Director General for Defense Potential from Laksamana Muda Bambang Murgianto to Marsekal Pertama Darmawan in Jakarta on Wednesday December 24.
“The issue of national security can no longer be classified [simply] as internal and external threats. The issue of national security must be handled jointly by the TNI and police. So, the dichotomy of the TNI having the duty of confronting external enemies and the police having the duty of safeguarding internal security is wrong. The issue of national security over the next 10 years will weigh [heavily on the side of] domestic security”, said Sudrajat.
According to Sudrajat, the plan to give the duty of handling internal security to the TNI has already been socialised among a number of DPR members. With regard to this plan, according to Sudrajat a number of DPR members have the same view with regard to the need to evaluate the use of the security forces, both the TNI and the police.
“The dichotomy which has emerged on the division of internal and external security, flows from MPR Decree Number VI/MPR/1999 and MPR Decree Number VII/MPR/1999, Law Number 2/3003 on the National Police and Law Number 3/2001 on National Defense, [and] must be straightened out. We hope there will a synchronisation of the relationship between the TNI and police”, he said by way of explanation.
When asked if the reexamination of this legislation will also touch on the possibility of again merging the police and the TNI1, Sudrajat said that this was not yet known for certain. “Possibly not. But, we must have clarity on the function, position and jurisdiction of the duties of the TNI and the police”, he said. (inu)
1. In August 2000, the government passed a series of laws formally separating the police from the military and giving the police the job of maintaining internal security and restricting the military (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, Indonesian National Armed Forces, TNI) to national defense. Prior to this, the police were part of the Indonesian Armed Forces (Angkatan Bersenjata Republic Indonesia, ABRI), which was made up of four wings: the army, navy, air-force and police.
[Translated by James Balowski.]