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Jakarta Post

State defense training for FPI not allowed: TNI

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 10, 2017   /  09:42 am
State defense training for FPI not allowed: TNI Members of hard-line group the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) burn a mock flag emblazoned with a communist symbol in front of the East Java Gubernatorial Office in Surabaya, East Java, on June 1, 2016. (Antara/Didik Suhartono)

The Indonesian Military (TNI) has banned Bela Negara (State Defense) training for any member of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) in the country, an official says.

TNI spokesperson Maj. Gen. Wuryanto assured that regional commanders throughout the country were prohibited from giving training to the FPI.

“It is not allowed,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday, emphasizing that the recent training session in Lebak, Banten, was a blunder and not a policy of the military institution.

The TNI has been in the spotlight after photos of military-style training for FPI members in Lebak, uploaded by FPI’s Instagram account @dpp_fpi went viral. The account also posted photos of similar training sessions taking place in Madura, East Java.

The Siliwangi Military Command later stripped Lebak military commander Lt. Col. Czi Ubaidillah of his post for having held the training session, which according to Siliwangi Military Command spokesperson Col. M Desi Arianto violated proper procedures implemented by the military institution.

(Read also: Democracy activists call for review of controversial state defense training)

The incident has also revived criticism over the Bela Negara program for providing training to non-military personnel. Although, the Defense Ministry had previously promised that military training would only be given to ordinary citizens in special circumstances, such as for residents living in conflict-prone areas. (jun)

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