TNI chief denies spat with Jokowi
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo has denied reports claiming that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reprimanded the top military official for unilaterally suspending military cooperation with Australia.
Speaking after a Christmas celebration event at the headquarters of the TNI complex on Wednesday, Gatot said the rumor of a spat between him and Jokowi over relations between the TNI and its counterpart the Australian Defense Force (ADF) was a hoax.
"As I've said before, everything I've done [is acknowledged] by the President as he is my commander. Such warnings are not true," Gatot told reporters.
Citing two government sources, Reuters recently reported that Jokowi “reproached” Gatot during a plenary Cabinet meeting at Bogor Palace last week, amid concerns the military chief was “out of control after he unilaterally suspended defense cooperation” with Australia.
Last month, the TNI moved to halt a language exchange program with the ADF following the discovery of teaching material deemed offensive by an Indonesian officer at an Australian military academy in November.
The material allegedly mocked Indonesia’s state ideology, Pancasila. Some teaching materials used in the academy allegedly discredited the TNI and tweaked Pancasila, which means five principles, to become “Pancagila”, or “five crazy principles”. (jun)
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