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Jakarta Post

No glory for the political soldier, enemy of democracy

  • Bhatara Ibnu Reza
    Bhatara Ibnu Reza

    Senior researcher for Imparsial, the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor

Sydney   /   Fri, October 6, 2017   /  10:45 am
No glory for the political soldier, enemy of democracy The civilian government under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has given more room for the military to enter activities unrelated to their military duties. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Ahead of the 72nd anniversary of the Indonesian Military (TNI) on Oct. 5, we’re again seeing signs of the reemergence of the “political soldier.” This is apparent in the figure of TNI chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo, whose recent comments lie beyond his responsibility as the head of the military. Among other political actions, he ordered subordinates to hold public screenings of the New Order’s propaganda film, Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI (Treachery of G30S/PKI), a film that was no longer mandatory to be broadcast since the fall of Soeharto’s regime. 

Previously, Gen. Nurmantyo had ordered troops to make the former strongman their role model. Soeharto was indeed the political soldier with politics at the end of his bayonet. Under his rule, the military’s role was a “stabilizing” power that curbed tension in society. ...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.