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TNI is being ruined: Ryacudu

Tempo Interactive - February 5, 2006

Pramono, Jakarta – General Ryamizard Ryacudu says that the TNI (Indonesian military) is being ruined and weakened. According to Ryacudu, the military has been estranged from the people while in fact the TNI is a people’s military that must unite with the people to build the strength [of the nation].

"Not with sophisticated weaponry, and we don't' yet have that (sophisticated weaponry)", he said in a seminar titled "Developing Indonesian Civilisation" in Jakarta on Sunday February 5. Also present at the seminar were former presidents Abdurrahman Wahid and Megawati Sukarnoputri, former Vice President Try Soetrisno and the specialist on legal state structures, Sri Soemantri.

Ryacudu, a high-ranking officer at the TNI's national headquarters who was formerly the Army chief-of-staff admitted to being concerned about the situation in Indonesia. He compared the nation to a four-legged table that is being gnawed at by rats.

He gave as an example the provinces of Aceh and West Papua that could separate from Indonesia, Moreover, Indonesia's present position in the international community is weak. The general who will retire next March also gave the example of the relationship with East Timor.

On Tuesday January 20, the president of East Timor, Xanana Gusmao submitted a report to the United Nations on human rights violations committed by Indonesia between April 25 1974 and October 25 1999. “If they (East Timor) are afraid of us, it’s normal. If they are being brave, that is strange”.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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