The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said on Wednesday that all citizens, including members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) had equal opportunity to join the Bela Negara (State Defense) program to obtain skills useful for defending the state.
“All citizens have the right to defend the state. However, it must be done according to the proper procedures,” Gatot told the press on the sidelines of a gathering at TNI headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta.
Gatot explained that a recent training session for FPI members in Lebak, Banten, was questionable, unlike previous sessions that occurred in other parts of the country, because it violated protocol as Lebak military commander Lt. Col. Czi Ubaidillah did not inform his superiors about the training.
“All regional commanders must inform their superiors [to host such training]. The procedure requires commanders of the Koramil [Subdistrict Military Command] to report to the Dandim [Regional Military Command], and then Dandim reports to Danrem [Military Resort Command],” he explained.
Gatot was citing the training of FPI members in Madura, East Java, conducted in 2014, which attracted public attention only recently after the FPI uploaded photos of the session on its Instagram account @dpp_fpi days after the Lebak incident. According to Gatot, the training in Madura was approved because it fulfilled the proper procedures.
Gatot’s clarification reinforces the policy line of the Defense Ministry’s policy, the initiator of the program. Like Gatot, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu also upheld the training of FPI members.