Indonesia Military commander defends military-style training of FPI
Margareth S. Aritonang
The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo has defended the right of Islam Defenders Front (FPI) members as citizens of the country to participate in military training and argued that referring to the FPI as anti-Pancasila was debatable.
In his response to journalists’ queries on the matter, Gatot emphasized that the military institution required regional commanders to submit proposals to hold the military-style training for FPI members, as well as other citizens, all across the archipelago.
“[Regional commanders] submit the proposals to their superiors who will decide [if the FPI is anti-Pancasila or not],” Gatot told reporters when asked if the state defense program also welcomed anti-Pancasila groups like the FPI.
(Read also: State defense training for FPI not allowed: TNI)
Gatot did not comment when he was asked for his opinion about the FPI.
The TNI has faced criticism after the Lebak military command in Banten trained FPI members in the area. The incident gained public attention after the FPI recently uploaded photos of the session onto its Instagram account @dpp_fpi and quickly raised concerns that providing military-like skills to members of a firebrand organization like the FPI constituted a public threat. (dmr)
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