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Safeguarding the elections not to promote TNI’s role

Kompas – January 8, 2004

Jakarta – The involvement of the TNI-AD (the army) in making the 2004 general elections a success does not represent an effort or ambition on the part of the TNI-AD to extend its role.

“The participation of the TNI-AD in safeguarding and ensuring the success of the 2004 elections represents our determination to contribute to the safety of the country”, said TNI-AD chief of staff General Ryamizard Ryacudu on Wednesday January 7.

The remarks were made while giving greetings during a ceremony marking a transfer of commanders at the Kodam Jaya regional military command from Major General Djoko Santoso to Major General Agustadi SP, which was held at on the grounds of the Kodam Jaya headquarters in East Jakarta.

In order that their role in safeguarding the 2004 elections will run properly, Ryacudu explained that the neutrality of TNI offices will continue to be firmly maintained. “Don’t let yourselves be influenced by a political group participating in the elections or forces outside of the formal political ranks”, he said.

“Don’t be trapped in practical political games. Carry out your duties as the guardian of the people during the elections. It is for this that we hope that the elections, as a festival of democracy, will run in an orderly manner, safely and successfully. Not the reverse”.

Ryacudu also explained that in carrying out their duties, TNI-AD officers would also intensify their territorial intelligence activities as a source of information to determine territorial development priorities.

This charge requires correct leadership and management based on the unity of the TNI with the people, in order to increase the public’s desire, together with other security forces, to safeguard their region. Because of this, each officer must be able to build dialogue, interact and communicate with all layers of society. “It is important for me to remind [you of this] because to date, the prestige of TNI-AD officers, especially among the ranks of Kodam Jaya, has been achieved because of widespread support from the public”, said Ryacudu. (NIC)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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